Blog: Social Impact Bonds

Top 6-10 Juvenile Justice Blog Posts | 2012

We've counted down the top 25, 20 and 15 juvenile justice blog posts from 2012. Here are 6-10:
10. Missouri’s Unique Approach To Rehabilitating Teens in Juvenile Justice System
Missouri is changing the way it approaches rehabilitating teens in its juvenile justice system, and it’s working. With a focus on therapy and education rather than punishment, the state closed its training schools and large facilities with minimal schooling in the early 1980s.
9. Stop the Trauma. Start the Healing: A Latino Health Context
Latino children are the fastest growing population in the United States and over half will end up incarcerated, jobless, or dead at a young age. Recognizing this, the National Compadres Network released a brown paper explaining how transformational based healing can disrupt this cycle and improve health outcomes for Latino children.

Juvenile Justice and Performance Incentive Funding

The idea that our tax dollars should be directed toward programs that deliver positive outcomes to the community is neither novel nor radical—but there are some interesting and innovative “pay for success” strategies for achieving this. Social impact bonds, which are being piloted in the United Kingdom, New York City, and Massachusetts, are perhaps among the best known of these. In the field of criminal justice, performance incentive funding (PIF) is another promising approach being tried in the United States.
PIF programs encourage local jurisdictions to supervise more offenders in the community and achieve better outcomes, namely lower recidivism and fewer prison commitments. They are premised on the idea that if the supervision agency or locality succeeds in sending fewer low-level offenders to prison—thereby causing the state to incur fewer costs—some portion of the state savings should be shared with the agency or locality. By delivering fewer prison commitments, agencies or localities receive a financial reward, which is reinvested into evidence-based supervision programs.
A new report from Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections—Performance Incentive Funding: Aligning Fiscal and Operational Responsibility to Produce More Safety at Less Cost—details how PIF programs can lead to better offender outcomes while reducing overall corrections costs. It presents the findings of a summit held in September 2011, which was convened by Vera, the Pew Center on the States, and Metropolis Strategies, to discuss the key challenges and tasks that states must address to develop and implement a PIF program.

New York City, Massachusetts Launching First Social Impact Bond Programs in United States

Now that the 2012 election is over, attention in Washington, D.C., will at last shift to other important subjects, including the impending “fiscal cliff” and the priorities of the “lame duck” Congress. But the refocus on policy also presents an opportunity to think seriously about how to direct government funds toward smart initiatives that deliver real-world results.
One way to do that is by funding “what works” initiatives such as social impact bonds. This new type of bond is an innovative financing tool for social programs in which government agencies contract external organizations to achieve measurable, positive social outcomes on key issues, such as homelessness or juvenile delinquency. Payment by the government is made only after the results have been achieved, and the government doesn’t spend a dime on programs that don’t deliver results.
While there are other outcome-based financing tools that governments can—and should—consider, 2012 has already been a blockbuster year for social impact bonds, with both New York City and the state of Massachusetts announcing details of the first two agreements to be inked in the United States. And as states and cities struggle with the current fiscal and political climate, achieving measurable results with limited means will become even more attractive.

Most Popular Juvenile Justice Blog Posts of August

We realize that many of our readers spent at least part of August traveling and spending time away from the computer. So, we've put together a little recap of our most popular juvenile justice blog posts of August 2012.
10. A Look Back on 11 Years of Juvenile Justice Reform
Earlier this summer, the National Conference of State Legislatures published a report detailing the progress made in the juvenile justice arena at the state and national levels.
9. Funding Opportunity: Improve Outcomes for Boys of Color
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a new call for proposals for 10 grants of up to $500,000 each. The Forward Promise initiative is looking for innovative, community-based projects working to strengthen health, education and employment outcomes for middle school and high school-aged boys and young men of color.

Goldman Sachs Invests $10M in Social Impact Bond to Reduce NYC Teen Recidivism Rates

Goldman Sachs is investing almost $10 million in a government program to reduce recidivism rates among adolescent men.
Earlier today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Goldman Sachs would provide a $9.6 million loan to pay for a new four year program to reduce the rate at which teen boys incarcerated at Rikers Island reoffend. Goldman Sachs is providing the financing through a social impact bond and will only be repaid if the program reduces recidivism rates by more than 10%. Currently, nearly 50% of the young men released from Rikers reoffend within one year.
According to the New York Times:

The Goldman money will be used to pay MDRC, a social services provider, to design and oversee the program. If the program reduces recidivism by 10 percent, Goldman would be repaid the full $9.6 million; if recidivism drops more, Goldman could make as much as $2.1 million in profit; if recidivism does not drop by at least 10 percent, Goldman would lose as much as $2.4 million.