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From chapter 28 of Economies of Crime, I learned how crime costs a society and how much it takes to control it. Through marginal analysis and marginal cost analysis, the effectiveness of every crime control measure depends on the cost used to implement the measure. Economists and criminologists should ensure they strike a balance between effective crime control and cost-efficiency in creating policies and programs that are both economically sustainable and socially beneficial. By striking a balance, economists and criminologists ensure a reduced crime rate by providing the programs and policies they have implemented deliver the most value for the resources and finances invested.

Soft White Underbelly interview with Marshall shows how sex offenders are perceived in society. The interview with Marshall explains how the government makes efforts in treatment programs that will help them be better people and be accepted in society. From the interview, Marshall admits that despite being sentenced for the fight crime he committed, he repeated the offense and was convicted for the second time. This shows how the government spends money on crime control and assisting the offenders, despite their resistance, leading to them committing similar or other crimes. The government spends a lot of finances controlling such incidents, reducing economic development where the funds could have been channeled to different economic or societal consequences.

From the interview with Mike Dowd, corruption is part of the common crimes experienced worldwide. Even police officers are corrupt despite being the ones who ensure that law and order are observed. This corruption impacts the justice system, where since citizens see that even police officers are corrupt, they tend to break down the social order and reduce crime reporting, which affects the socio-economic status of the society. From the interview, we see Mike Dowd colluding with criminals, such as youngsters who sell cocaine. This collaboration undermines efforts to combat criminal networks as law enforcement becomes compromised. Addressing this issue requires comprehensive reforms and systemic changes that also involve the use of finances that could be used for economic and social development.

From “The Sin She Witnessed″ video, some crimes during the 1890s occurred because of economic and social hardship or challenges such as farming and lack of education. From the story, educating the public about some of their behaviors and crimes, which the community considers a sin, is vital as it reduces social stigma. Policies are also crucial as they provide a roadmap of right and wrong. Policies also define acceptable behaviors in the community, outlining the consequences of criminal activities and establishing a foundation of social justice where crimes are addressed according to their impacts and not societal judgments.

Opportunity cost is the forgone opportunity when another alternative is chosen. The opportunity cost to society, and those marginal societies trying to rehabilitate themselves includes diverting finances that could have been used in education, healthcare, and other community development. This reduces the socio-economic status of the community, leading to increased cases of poverty and increased rates of crimes. The time and effort taken in rehabilitation initiatives could have been used in other industries, such as community building, economic development, and even addressing the root causes of crimes that foster the need for these rehabilitation programs. In this case, the opportunity cost is the lost benefits for pursuing other alternatives, such as community and economic development.


YouTube. (2019, December 3). She reveals the details of the sin she witnessed as a girl. warning: This story Will haunt you. YouTube

Soft White Underbelly. (2020, April 2). Corrupt NYPD Cop interview – Mike Dowd

Sex-offender Interview- Marshal (n.d), Soft White Underbelly.

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