2008 Costs of Crime Report Published

Early this year, the Department of Justice released, seemingly for the first time, a report titled “Costs of Crime in Canada, 2008” by Ting Zhang [PDF version]. Given the impending omnibus bill on crime and the likely large increase in the costs to the provinces from their associated responsibility for corrections, this report might be of some interest.

It consists, essentially, of a series of “appendices” that set out cost tables for, respectively, the criminal justice system, the victims of crime, third parties, and finally intangible costs (pain and suffering, value of loss of life) associated with crime. The overall costs are conservatively estimated as follows:

In 2008, the total (tangible) social and economic costs of Criminal Code offences in Canada were approximately $31.4 billion.1 This amounted to a per capita cost of $943 per year. . .

In the present study, it is estimated that the total intangible costs were about $68.2 billion in 2008, which increased the total costs of crime to $99.6 billion.


  1. Is it too early for me to say “I told you so” about the impending bankruptcy of our Justice System in the face of the Omnibus Crime Bill?

    I called it right here in SLAW just last week.

    Sadly, I’m rarely proven right so quickly. :(

  2. But, but, how can anything for which the current Regressive Conservative regime is responsible be bankrupt when, as recently stated by Prime Minister Harper, Canada has the best Finance Minister in the world?

    Eh? What’s that you say? The Finance Minister used to be an insurance defence lawyer who thought he was better at constitutional arguments that the Ont AG’s constitutional mavens? And a hockey player?

    Oh. Never mind.

  3. In the same vein of unfortunate comments:

    I suspect at least one of the two Simons will remember a day, once upon a time, in the last millennium, early in the history of Osgoode Hall Law Schoo at York, when the Dean addressed a group of lawyers and law students and welcomed them to the best law school in the Commonwealth. It didn’t take long before wags pointed out that it arguably wasn’t even the best law school in North York.

    There were high schools, then, offering business law classes. The classes were usually composed of women who’d been streamed into the 4 year high school commercial program on the basis that they weren’t suited for the (ahem) “harder” 5 yr arts & science academic program.