A qualified success for the Peterborough prison social impact bond
Monday, August 11, 2014
The Peterborough prison social impact bond attracted investment of £5m from 17 charitable foundations to finance six criminal justice charities to work intensively with three cohorts of 1,000 short-sentence prisoners released from HM Prison Peterborough, the first between September 2010 and May 2012.
One purpose was to demonstrate what many such charities could assert from experience – that providing such intensive help to a category of offenders who have not received it in the past would bring down their rate of reoffending.
Another purpose was to show that it was possible to attract investors to this kind of project who are prepared to qualify for repayment and a dividend from public funds only if an agreed figure was exceeded.
Figures released this week show that the mentoring and support provided by the charities resulted in a fall in reconvictions in the first Peterborough cohort of 8.4 per cent when compared to a larger national group with similar characteristics. This is encouraging, and provides useful data for future policy-making.