Government funded PBS produces a fairly balanced ‘he says, she says’ piece on SIBs based around the Rikers Island recidivism programme. Criticism of ‘gaming the system’ to achieve positive returns is something the industry needs to remain constantly vigilant about. At the same time such process is endemic in government-run target-based projects too q.v. the UK’s leviathan National Health Service remains rabidly incompetent in many respects yet apparently meets most of its targets! Sensible target metrics are key but at the same time if SIB programmes are saving money as opposed to requiring bottomless pits of cash, that is a better result than previous, largely unaccountable, programmes. As always the SIB industry must be mindful that the programmes do operate on modest margins and deliver benefits to society.

How SIBs Put Private Profit Ahead Of Public Good

Last spring, Making Sense asked what Goldman Sachs, Rikers Island and a private charitable foundation could possibly have in common. As we explained in a two-part series, which you can watch below, they’re all part of a new private-public partnership working to reduce recidivism in New York City.

Advocates Hope This Is The Year For Social Financing
CT News Junkie

Government budgets may be shrinking and demand for social services may be growing, but a group of investors and advocates believe they’ve come up with an answer that addresses some of society’s problems and doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

They’re called social impact bonds.

The first Connecticut agency to take advantage of the bonds is the Department of Children and Families. Last week, the DCF released a request for proposal to provide “cost-effective services for families involved or at risk of becoming involved in the child protection services system and who are impacted by substance use.”

DCF is working with the Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab to find investors for the project that will help prevent parents with substance abuse problems from losing their children. By avoiding the cost of a child entering the system, the state saves money and investors will see a return on their investment if that goal is achieved.