The UK’s first social impact bond has met initial targets for reducing reoffending among offenders released from Peterborough Prison, according to results published today by the Ministry of Justice. But the results show it has not yet delivered strong enough results to trigger a payment to investors.
The project reduced reoffending by 8.4 per cent among the first cohort of 1,000 prisoners it worked with, compared with a control group. There were 142 reconvictions per 100 offenders, compared to 155 reconvictions among a control group.
The Peterborough project was launched in 2010. It was the first example of the SIB, a type of payment-by-results contract where investors provide a not-for-profit organization with capital to carry out interventions. The government pays out if the interventions are successful. The investors make a profit if the project works, and lose money if it does not.
As widely reported, the Ministry of Justice announced earlier this year that the Peterborough SIB would be closed early because it was not compatible with Transforming Rehabilitation, a nationwide programme which will replace existing probation services for medium and low-risk prisoners, and will also include a payment-by-results element aimed at reducing reoffending.