First in a series of infographics which demystify the jargon and technical terms associated with the payment by results commissioning model.
However, if the offender population in Peterborough is typical of local prisons, these results are promising although they do not reach the 10% target figure which would release the full PbR payment (the number of reconviction events would need to be 148 per 100 offenders rather than the current 155).
Sodexo and NACRO are the new partnership running the South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company and it will be interesting to see whether they can have a positive impact on reducing the reoffending of released prisoners – their results will also be subject to a payment by results contracting approach, this time using both a binary and frequency (but not severity of offence) payment model.
These are very disappointing results for the MoJ. Normally, there would be an expectation of a high level of performance from pilots with such public exposure where the partners had chosen to participate and, indeed, had championed and driven the initiative from the outset. Therefore, it is an extremely worrying sign for the new private providers of probation whose revenue will be, to an increasing extent, dependent on reducing reoffending rates, that these high-profile pilots are performing so poorly.
So what do we make of these results? To me they represent a mixed picture, there’s no denying that reoffending has been reduced. However, we would normally expect a high level of performance from such a high profile pilot where the partners had chosen to participate and indeed championed and driven the initiative from the outset. On the other hand, there has been significant learning about how best to co-ordinate pre-and post-release activity, use mentors effectively and co-ordinate a multi-agency approach to preventing reoffending.
The MoJ has decided to stick to its decision to make PbR payments on both binary (reducing the proportion of people who commit further offences) and frequency (reducing the total number of offences) measures. However, providers can only receive the frequency payment if they meet the binary target – the so called binary hurdle remains in place.
Payment by results is about driving improvement, so no self-respecting PBR scheme will pay for results that will happen anyway, known in the jargon is “deadweight”. The proportion of deadweight in a PbR funded initiative varies markedly across different spheres of operation. Despite all the adverse publicity about reoffending rates which has accompanied the debate about the Rehabilitation Revolution, 65.8% of those supervised in the community and 53.1% of those released from prison do NOT re-offend in the first year. However, when we look at the Work Programme…
Yesterday the MoJ published interim reconviction figures from the reducing reoffending PbR pilots at Peterborough and Doncaster prisons. The final results for just the first year’s cohort from these pilots won’t be available until 2014 but the MoJ have decided to publish these interim results because of the “high level of public interest” which has been created because the new reducing reoffending contracts will be let on a PbR basis. The results aren’t especially promising…
I just got back from an interesting roundtable discussion on payment by results and re-offending convened by IPPR. I cam away with two main thoughts. Is there really no alternative to the MoJ’s cumbersome cohort approach to calculating PbR? And who is going to provide on the ground leadership for the rehabilitation revolution in a centrally commissioned model with a much reduced probation service?
PbR is simple in theory…
Payment by results is quite a straightforward concept. Its chief attraction lies in its ability to incentivise providers to deliver exactly what a commissioner wants. For example, any PbR contract concerned with reducing reoffending should ensure that organisations receive the biggest payments when they succeed in getting prolific offenders to give up crime. This saves the commissioner – the Ministry of Justice – and the country money and is to the benefit of everyone in society.
However, getting the contract right in practice is proving rather more challenging – indeed, I’ve yet to go to a PbR event where at least one speaker hasn’t said: “The devil is in the detail.”
00000Measuring recovery The biggest challenge of the drug recovery payment by results pilots has been agreeing a simple but robust measurement system to report on whether new approaches to drug treatment are successful in helping problem drug users stay clean and lead constructive and fulfilling lifestyles. There was an extensive public consultation about what these outcome metrics should be and, even though they have recently been updated, it’s far from clear whether they will work in …