An early-warning system for troubled kids? Using data to keep teens away from crime (Pioneer Press)

As part of the project, they’re exploring a pay-for-success funding model, in which private investors provide the upfront cash to pay for interventions that will save the government money years later.

If the interventions work, the government pays the investors back, with interest, from the money saved by reduced spending on prosecution and incarceration.

Schumacher said the case of the two teen boys represented a lousy return on society’s investment of public education and welfare programs.

“And now, we’re paying to lock them up for 20 years,” she said. “We think working together we can do better.”

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This Anti-Violence Program Has Been Proven to Cut Crime. Can It Work in Baltimore? (Governing)

Cities know that a majority of crimes are committed by a small slice of the population. In fact, somewhere between half and three quarters of all killings and shootings occur within about 3 to 5 percent of any city’s blocks. And a little more than half of all homicides are committed by 1 percent of the population, according to FBI data.

In recent decades, as cities have focused their efforts on reducing crime, many of them have launched anti-violence programs aimed at zeroing in on the small handful of residents most likely to commit those crimes. Those include efforts such as Project Longevity in New Haven, Conn., and New York City's Man Up, which was modeled after Chicago’s Cure Violence program, which uses violence interrupters to reduce the number of retaliatory violence in the city.

Sometimes, though, those kinds of initiatives aren't enough. And that's where something like Massachusetts' Roca program comes in.

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Social Impact Leader Tracy Palandjian on the State of Pay-For-Success (The Chronicle of Social Change)

In August of 2012, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a project through which his foundation and Goldman Sachs would pay for a project aimed at lowering the recidivism of adolescent males incarcerated at Rikers Island, New York’s massive and potentially doomed prison-plex.

If the project lowered recidivism by 10 percent, the city would pay the private funders back. Better returns on investment would be repaid with a bonus.

The project did not yield success, for several reasons. The private investors lost their money, the government did not. And thus was the story of America’s first pay-for-success (PFS) project, a model also known as a “social impact bond” that uses private investment to give state and local governments a sneak peak at expanding a social intervention strategy.

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Could this investment strategy help keep convicts from returning to prison? (Washington Post)

The lesson: Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies both lost money in the SIB, but was the public-private partnership viewed as a failure? No. It was executed as the parties agreed. The innovative financing structure took a critical first step in incentivizing private capital to address social challenges. It also signaled a new role for philanthropies: Rather than simply donating funds to address social problems, leverage private capital to finance the solutions by acting as a guarantor. A British-based nonprofit, Social Finance, estimates there are now 100 SIBs in development in the United States. Goldman is participating in early childhood education SIBs, among other projects. In addition, SIBs have paved the way for new kinds of social investment vehicles, such as environmental impact bonds, where early results have been promising. By definition, innovation is messy and iterative. Sometimes the most valuable parts of risk-taking are the lessons learned.

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DA's Office announces new justice restoration project (Pleasanton Weekly)

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley has announced that she is leading a partnership of county agencies, community groups and other resources to try to provide successful outcomes for young adults who are on felony probation or who've been charged with certain felonies.

O'Malley said the "Alameda County Justice Restoration Project" will focus on reducing and eliminating recidivism as well as on providing the resources and processes for individuals to build bright futures.

She said the project will focus on young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 and will be evaluated by WestEd Inc., an independent research and assessment organization.

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Alameda County Justice Restoration Project Launched (Third Sector Capital Partners)

OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley today announced that the District Attorney’s Office, leading a partnership of county agencies, community partners and non-government resource providers, has launched the Alameda County Justice Restoration Project.

The Justice Restoration Project is a unique project in that it is a Pay For Success Project, with seed funding awarded by the Bureau of State and Community Corrections through a competitive grant program. Pay For Success is a fiscal partnership between a government agency, in this case Alameda County, under the leadership of the District Attorney’s Office, and private or foundation funders. The non-government funds are invested in a project with specific contractual milestones and outcomes.

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Alameda County Justice Restoration Project Launched (Office of the District Attorney Alameda County)

The program has been developed and spearheaded by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in collaboration with the Probation Department, the County Administrator’s Office, and the Sheriff’s Office, among other county partners. The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab has been working with the DA’s office since 2015 to develop the project. BOSS and other community based organizations will be program partners under the project management of Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.

The project is funded by a mix of federal, state, county, and philanthropic dollars, including funding from Alameda County, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), pursuant to California Assembly Bill 1837, and transaction structuring support from the California Pay for Success Initiative, administered by Nonprofit Finance Fund and funded by The James Irvine Foundation and transaction structuring support through an award to Nonprofit Finance Fund funded through 2014 appropriations from the Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Transaction Structuring Competition.

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Federal grant invests in funding tied to positive outcomes for juveniles (SE Illinois News)

In an effort to improve the lot of at-risk youth, Illinois officials have launched a pilot program that accepts federal funds only when outcomes show improvement.

The Pay for Success pilot, championed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and George Sheldon, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, was announced Nov. 18. It received White House blessing via a grant from the Social Innovation Fund.

"Pay for Success allows government to pay only when individual lives are improved, rather than for the number of participants in a program," said then-Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation David Wilkinson.

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Barr Foundation Awards $25.3 Million in Fourth-Quarter Grants (Philanthropy News Digest)

In Education, Barr awarded 15 grants totaling nearly $3.6 million. Many of these support a growing spectrum of innovative school models and programs in the region designed to increase success in high school and beyond, especially for the most underserved students. A renewed grant of $300,000 to Roca will expand its intervention model for high-risk young men in Boston, as part of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Initiative. A $200,000 grant to College Bound Dorchesterwill support an external evaluation of its college access and success model for at-risk youth, which will inform the organization’s program improvement and related efforts in the field.

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Illinois Announces Pay for Success Initiative for Dually-Involved Youth (Third Sector Capital Partners)

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Director George Sheldon today announced the next step to improving outcomes for youth who are involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems through a first-of-its-kind pay for success initiative.

“Many youth in the juvenile justice system have endured a breakdown in their families,” said Governor Rauner. “This project is an innovative demonstration of how we can, collaboratively, improve services for some of our state’s most vulnerable residents, and it continues our administration’s efforts to transform health and human services delivery in Illinois.”

The State of Illinois Pay for Success (PFS) initiative is a pilot project aimed at measurably improving the lives of youth who are dually-involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems by driving resources towards better, more effective programs. In partnership with Conscience Community Network, LLC (CCN), a network of six Illinois nonprofit service providers, the initiative will provide intensive case coordination and timely access to evidence-based treatments to 807 youth from 18 counties throughout the state over four years.

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