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January 3, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(1):38-39. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660270042014

A recent estimate of the annual cost of crime in the United States places the total at $10,000,000,000. This means an annual charge to each inhabitant of approximately $85. The estimate includes every possible charge, direct and indirect, that can be laid to the door of crime; the direct cost—losses paid by individuals, firms and corporations—was estimated at $3,000,000,000 annually.1 To this economic demand for measures directed toward the prevention of crime must be added the humanitarian appeal of the suffering and hardships it causes, the magnitude of which cannot be expressed in dollars and cents. But, it may be asked, what has this to do especially with physicians and the practice of medicine? The answer to this question has led to much controversy and misunderstanding, largely as the result of misguided statements and ill founded speculations. The problem of the relation of medicine to crime has close kinship