The National Council on Crime and Delinquency announced three projects to study the feasibility of pay-for-success (PFS) projects in Connecticut, California and Wisconsin. PFS projects shift the burden of social investment off the government and onto private investors. Private sector investors front the capital for organizations to implement social programs. The government only pays the initial investor back, with interest, if specific outcomes are met. So, in essence, the government is paying for outcomes and not services rendered. The NCCD studies are funded by a $863,959 grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a federal office housed at the Corporation for National and Community Service. SIF awarded more than $12 million to NCCD and seven other lead entities to help big-picture organizations assess the feasibility of various projects throughout the U.S. All three of the programs being assessed by NCCD are youth-related:
- YouthStat, a program that identifies New Haven’s most at-risk students and brings together representatives from local agencies to help create a unique plan for them. Mayor Toni Harp initiated YouthStat after the shooting deaths of two teenagers last April. YouthStat has already identified 365 youths and received consent from guardians to craft plans for them.
- Alternatives to Detention and Placement, operated by The Children’s Initiative in San Diego. The establishment of community alternatives was a major recommendation in the 2008 plan for counteracting juvenile disproportionate minority contact, which was published jointly by the initiative and San Diego County.
- One Summer Plus, run by Milwaukee nonprofit Community Advocates. The nonprofit established a pilot version of this violence prevention project after visiting the original One Summer Plus in Chicago last summer.
NCCD announced months ago that it would seek projects in states with the highest rates of racial and ethnic disparities. It identified 11 states: Wisconsin, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Washington, D.C.
As The Chronicle reported earlier this year, NCCD is currently involved in two other PFS projects in California, along with co-SIF grantee Third Sector Capital Partners. They are conducting a feasibility study to assess the possibility of Third Sector Capital Partners’ two PFS projects, one focusing on restorative justice and the other focusing on prevention services for child welfare-involved youth to prevent juvenile justice system cross-over.
Click here to see the local grantees selected by several of the other lead entities working on SIF-backed pay for success studies.
Youth Services Insider is mostly written by Chronicle Editor John Kelly.