PLY: A thoughtful analysis of the failed Rikers Island project – like a child falling off its bike this has been a learning process and we will emerge all the stronger from it.

Have a great weekend…

An Important Social Experiment Failed: What Would Success Have Looked Like?John Roman, Ph.D. & Dan Edwards – Huffington Post

Government, social service providers and investment banks are teaming in an unlikely way to answer an unlikely question: how can public government and private corporations collaboratively solve important social problems more effectively than today’s best practice?

One place where this is critically needed is in the treatment of high-risk adolescents involved with juvenile court, special education, child welfare and other systems. Without help, these children are destined to become lost adults who use overwhelming amounts of unproductive government resources.

Those incarcerated or detained at Rikers Island, the New York City jail, are among the largest populations in this United States facing this challenge. New York is one of only two states in the US that incarcerate 16- and 17-year-olds as adults–meaning that these children are incarcerated within the same walls as adult offenders.

Rikers was the home for the first social impact bond in the US–an innovative attempt to raise private capital to fund treatment programs that could not otherwise go forward. But this month we learned that the program did not meet its performance targets and was to be closed.

Does this mean that we should abandon social impact bonds and other juvenile justice reforms?

PLY: The answer is an unequivocal no.