LANSING, MI (WTVB) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is highlighting the cost of crime to victims and society during this National Crime Victim Rights Week. Schuette says far too often, the victims of crime are forgotten. 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, Schuette says 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 in Branch County totaling $1.6 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. Schuette offered an illustration of how even one crime can impact Michigan citizens, potentially adding hundreds of societal costs per person per year. A University of Michigan 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. In Branch County, it was figured at $251 per person. The overall alcohol involved crash costs, from fatals to property damage only, added up to 11.3 million dollars or $211,000 per crash.
Michigan will hold its annual Crime Victim Foundation Candlelight Vigil in the rotunda of the Capitol building in Lansing on Wednesday, April 23rd 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.