Schuette: Remember the Victims When Considering the Cost of Crime in Michigan

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April 7, 2014

            LANSING Attorney General Schuette today highlighted the cost of crime to victims and society as our country commemorates National Crime Victim Rights Week.

     “Far too often, the victims of crime are forgotten. I am determined not to let that happen,” said Schuette.

     “Twenty years of research and the experiences of real Michiganders illustrate that you cannot leave victims, their pain and their costs, out of policy debates involving public safety.  If anyone deserves a second chance, it is these families today struggling with their loss.”

     The University of Michigan released a report in 2012 that included the cost of murder in Michigan, and they estimated the cost, county by county.  Using 2010 dollars, they calculated the average cost of a murder totaling more than $1.5 million in tangible costs (medical care, lost wages, property damage, cost to prosecute, etc.), with an additional $2.7 million in costs to the victims in the loss of quality of life. 

     Adding the seven other major crimes studied, including rape, aggravated assault, and robbery, the total costs are approximately $2.6 billion in tangible costs and $3.9 billion in quality of life costs. The tangible costs to society of just eight crimes every year in Michigan total more than the cost of incarcerating all of today’s 43,500 prisoners. 

      In addition to highlighting the practical costs of crime, Schuette notes intangible personal costs to the families of the victims also exist.  According to a study published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, “For the co-victims of homicide – the family and friends of the person that was murdered – recovery is a difficult, lifelong process characterized by post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, financial vulnerability, disability and other challenges.”

Interactive Map: The Societal Cost of Michigan Traffic Crashes and Crimes

     Schuette offered an illustration of how even one crime can impact Michigan citizens, potentially adding hundreds of societal costs per person per year. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s 2011 study on Societal Costs of Traffic Crashes and Crimes in Michigan highlighted the overall societal cost per person of alcohol-related traffic crashes in Michigan.  Visit this link to view an interactive webmap detailing the cost of alcohol-related crashes, per person, per year, in each of Michigan’s counties. The map is courtesy of the Department of Attorney General.

Upcoming Events and Additional Resources

     Michigan will hold its annual Crime Victim Foundation Candlelight Vigil in the rotunda of the Capitol building in Lansing on Wednesday, April 23 at 6:00 p.m. Schuette is set to speak, along with victim advocates, victims’ families, law enforcement, legislators, and special guests.  Members of the public are invited to attend and support victims of crime and their advocates. The event is open to media.

     Additional resources for victims of crime in Michigan can be found at:,4534,7-164-59455---,00.html

     Read more about National Crime Victim Rights Week, April 6-12, 2014 from the U.S. Department of Justice:

Click here to read Attorney General Schuette’s MLive op-ed discussing the cost of crime in Michigan: