The way we are dealing with prolific offenders on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is not working and costing us all big bucks, according to a new study by researchers at Simon Fraser University.
The study tracked more than 300 prolific offenders in the neighbourhood over five years.
The offenders were broken down into two groups: those under community supervision averaged almost $170,000 in healthcare, social service, and justice costs.
The other group, who were mostly in custody, averaged almost $250,000 in costs, with half related to corrections.
Almost everyone in both groups had mental health and or substance abuse issues.
The study has added it all up and the cost to handle those groups over five years comes out to $26.5 million.
The research only paints a partial picture. It does not include other justice costs, such as policing and court costs, healthcare services while in custody, and money spent by either municipal or federal governments.