Today we have a series of interesting stories all discussing SIBs from slightly different perspectives, happy reading!
SIBs Are A Smart Way To Solve Old Problems
State lawmakers interested in solving old problems in a new way should spend a few moments thumbing through Rep. Hans Zeiger’s proposal to create something called “social impact bonds.”
Zeiger, R-Puyallup, has impressive bipartisan support for his bill, HB 2337, and managed to unite the state labor union, human-services advocates and the right-leaning Washington Policy Center. It is a low-risk bill. It sets up a 14-member steering committee, tasked with finding one pilot project this year.
How To Get Bankers To Pay To Reduce Prison Recidivism
The notion of inviting venture capitalists into the state human services system sounds, I’ll admit, a bit creepy. When I heard that notion was floating around the 2014 Legislature, my thoughts went to the private prison industry and its dismal race-to-the-bottom practices.
When officials at England’s Peterborough Prison got frustrated about the increasing financial and societal cost of re-arresting, re-convicting and re-imprisoning the same people every few years, they turned to a new approach. The approach involved an innovative tool known as a “social impact bond,” in which outside investors pay the upfront program costs in exchange for a portion of government savings if (and only if) the program works.
In Peterborough’s case, the result was a 6 percent drop in recidivism at a time when rates increased by 16 percent nationwide.
Now imagine how universities — with their vast resources, research capabilities and connections — in concert with government, civil society and business sectors — could create, promote and nurture programs as innovative as the Peterborough experiment and even more so.
Can you do good and do well? This is the driving question for impact investors…By some estimates, in the next 30 years, there will be as much as $6 trillion of private money looking to be deployed in this way.