The research „Crime Repression Costs in Context” starts from the assumption that “It is only very recently that EU countries have started generating figures on the cost of crime, and methodological problems still exist in developing the methods of calculating these costs”. The research will point out the existing problems in costs evaluation. It will not discuss computational methods of evaluating costs of different penal strategies. In order to do this, there should be an agreement about what shall be considered as a cost and what shall be considered benefit while proposing and adopting a specific policy. In our opinion, there is actually no agreement on this point in the community of European experts. Moreover, such an agreement seems a chimera if we examine the strategies of different European penitentiary practitioners and administrators. Proponents believe that the first step is the definition of the different paradigms, with their implicit assumptions on penitentiary system’s tasks and costs. Secondly, it is necessary to define the different assumptions that move political discourse and influence public opinion. Finally, it is crucial to study in depth practitioners’ perceptions about costs and benefits. This work of epistemological foundation is preliminary to any discussion about the costs of crime and crime repression. Research will: review existing literature and outline the legal and sociological framework of European penal and penitentiary policies (WP 1-2). In order to do this, the research will also produce an empirical-ethnographic research (WP 3-4), involving all the European countries where participant units are based: old EU members such as Italy and Germany, new member States such as Lithuania and a candidate country where penal and penitentiary reforms are strongly needed, such as Turkey. Special attention will be dedicated to policies aimed at preventing recidivism and a specific ethnographic research on drug-related crime repression will be carried out (WP 4).  

Project partners:

Researchers: dr. Algimantas Čepas, dr. Gintautas Sakalauskas.

Duration: 2007.05.01 – 2009.04.30.

The project is funded by European Commision funds under the programme “Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area”.