By MIKE GORRELL
The Utah Governor's Office of Management and Budget is one of six government agencies in the Intermountain area that will receive funding and technical support to address pressing social issues through the national Pay for Success Initiative.
The aid is designed to "develop innovative, evidence-based interventions that measurably improve the lives of individuals and families in their communities," said Jeremy Keele, executive director of the Policy Innovation Lab in the James Lee Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business.
Last year, the lab received $1.15 million from the Corporation for National and Community Service to help prepare state and local governments — and service providers — to implement Pay for Success programs. More funding came from the James Lee Sorenson Foundation and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
In Pay for Success, private and philanthropic funds are used to develop programs that set out to achieve identified goals in important issues such as chronic homelessness, chronic education and jail/prison recidivism. When programs reach their goals, government funding is used to repay the original investors.
The Utah Office of Management and Budget's proposal is to deal with recidivism by specifically targeting offenders that have both substance abuse and mental illness disorders. Keele said the proposal recognizes that an early intervention with people suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems reduces their prospects of re-offending. Lab funds will be used for data systems, feasibility analysis and technical assistance to service providers in the community.
Other recipients are Adams County School District 50 in suburban Denver (early education), Colorado Department of Homeless Initiatives (recidivism), Boise (chronic homelessness), Las Vegas (early education) and Missoula County, Mont. (jail overcrowding).