What is justice reinvestment?
On 28 November 2013 the MoJ published the second year results from the Justice Reinvestment Pilots. The pilot, which finished in June 2013, set out to test whether local crime reduction partnerships could be incentivised to reduce demand in the criminal justice system.
The pilot ran in six sites: Greater Manchester and the London Boroughs of Croydon, Hackney, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. It operated a payment by results approach which means that if the pilot areas succeeded in reducing demand on criminal justice services (by 5% for adults and 10% for young offenders), they received additional funds generated by the savings to invest in further reducing re-offending initiatives.
You can find further details of the pilot here.
The payment structure
The payment by results model adopted by the MoJ scheme for the reinvestment pilots was different from the proposed PbR model for Transforming Rehabilitation in two main ways:
- Outcomes focused on reducing demand on the criminal justice system rather than re-offending
- Any savings realised from demand reduction were shared by the MoJ and local partners. Pilot sites got to reinvest their savings locally in any way they chose provided it was about reducing crime and reoffending.
Where demand fell beyond a certain threshold (5% for adults and 10% for youths, up to a maximum of 20%) in either of the two measurement years compared to the baseline, local partners received a success payment. If demand did not fall below the threshold, no payment was made.
Results for year two of the pilots are shown in the table below which compares the reduction in demand for both the adult and youth justice systems and the combined payments due which, as you can see, amounted to just over £8 million pounds.
This report only contains the figures relating to the demand reduction with no information about how they were made. We will have to wait for the final evaluation report carried out by Kevin Wong and his colleagues from Sheffield Hallam University to find out how the pilots were so successful. The report is due out some (unspecified) time next year.
A proper assessment will have to wait until we have more details but these figures do suggest that Payment by Results may be a more successful approach when savings are shared between government and providers with an explicit understanding that providers will reinvest their success payments rather than merely pass them on to shareholders.
I argue this belief more fully in my 6th Commandment of Payment by Results: Profit shall not be thy God.