Final evaluation of Peterborough Prison resettlement scheme finds it cut reoffending by 9%, so why was it halted half way through?
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.
The MoJ published their initial payment mechanism for the Transforming Rehabilitation contracts back on 3rd June and asked for feedback. They are currently developing a final version which should be published before the procurement process starts – scheduled for 23rd August. Last week, the Social Market Foundation published a paper by its director Ian Mulheirn which analysed the payment mechanism in forensic detail and came up with the devastating conclusion that : The payment mechanism encourages providers to cut spending on services and allow reoffending to drift marginally upwards.
Will SIBs become a mainstream way of funding public services? My take on new Social Market Foundation report. “Effective transfer of financial accountability is the holy grail of public service reform” The main mechanism for this has been payment by results with which Social Impact Bonds are closely associated. Social Impact Bonds and PbR appear to be a good fit:
00000What does the future hold for payment by results initiatives in 2012? PbR is fast becoming a key component of the Coalition Government project, generating increasing amounts of media coverage. The payments by results scheme to tackle “problem families” received hundreds of column inches, although most clued-up commentators were quick to argue that the headline £200 million funding was not all new money. In terms of criminal justice PbR schemes, with which this blog is …
00000Most voluntary sector projects publish an annual report. Not many are greeted with the level of interest which met yesterday’s publication of the first report of the ONE project, the Peterborough Prison resettlement project which is funded by Britain’s first Social Impact Bond. The project is funded to the tune of £5 million raised from 17 private investors in the UK and USA. If it succeeds in cutting the re-offending rate of the 3,000 short …
Given the current state of the economy and scale of the deficit, it is clear that there is likely to be a continued high level of interest in Private Finance Initiatives which is essentially what Social Impact Bonds are. At one level, those of us trying to tackle entrenched social problems like drug-related offending are not too concerned with the source of funding, we just want someone to ‘show me the money’.