Desoto County NewsMississippi News

State auditor’s report shows the cost of homicides in lives, money

Mississippi State Shad White Monday issued a report addressing homicides and its cost to the state, not just in lives lost but in dollars. 

A report White has released on his website titled “The High Cost of Violent Crime in Mississippi” indicates the state could save lives and money by increasing funding for law enforcement. 

According to research by the Office of the State Auditor, each homicide in Mississippi costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.2 million. Those costs include crime scene response and cleanup, medical treatment and compensation for the victim, case investigation and prosecution by law enforcement, incarceration for the defendant, and lost tax revenue. 

These estimates suggest taxpayers likely lost between $136.8 and $182.4 million due to homicides reported in Jackson in 2021 alone.

“My office will continue to highlight the cost to taxpayers of the challenges, like violent crime, that we face,” said Auditor White in a news release.

The report also shows how Mississippi and Jackson—the state and city with the highest homicide rates in the country—could save precious lives. It is estimated that 100 new police officers on the street could prevent between 6 and 10 homicides per year.

“Aside from the monetary cost, we also know that every life has value in God’s eyes, and every death due to homicide is a tragedy,” said White. “Now is the time to support the police in our state and put violent criminals in jail and keep them there. If we do not get tough on crime and stop the destructive catch and release problem we have, this report shows how costly it will be to Mississippians.”

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