A Social Impact Bond to Reduce Recidivism
The Social Issue:
In 2010, when this Social Impact Bond was set to launch, the rate at which short-sentenced offenders were convicted of a repeat crime less than a year after release was a staggering 60%. Many of these offenders had no income and no home to return to, making their reintegration into society an often insurmountable challenge. This social trend had unfortunate economic implications, making clear that not enough support was given to these individuals.
The Economic Impact:
Aside from the social detriments caused by crimes committed by unsuccessfully rehabilitated offenders, there are quantifiable economic costs to various stakeholders as a result of this trend. The cost of incarcerating each prisoner at Peterborough Prison is a whopping £40,000 – with every additional year costing £4,000.
The Intervention Program:
This intervention launched by this Social Impact Bond aims to provide support and increase opportunities for recently released prisoners. The organization One Service was created to provide personalized services that meet the complex needs of offenders, before and after their release. In facilitating successful reintegration into society, One Service has brought together five different service providers in order to provide offenders with a wide range of critical services, including employment, housing, financial services, as well as mental health and addiction treatment.
In implementing the SIB, One Service worked in partnership with local law enforcement, probation officers, Peterborough prison, municipal authorities and rehabilitation professionals. Activities began within the prison, prior to the release of the prisoners. Coordinators learned the needs of each prisoner in order to design personalized programs for successful rehabilitation and reintegration following their release. Ultimately, the synchrony of multiple actors created a pool of resources and expertise, enabling the SIB to succeed.
After 7 years, the conclusion of this Social Impact Bond shoed that the intervention succeeded in reducing the number of reoffenders by 9%, when compared to a control group. This exceeded the expectations of the Ministry of Justice, which set a reduction target of 7.5%. As a result, investors in the SIB received a rate of return of over 3%.