In 2012, New York City launched the first Social Impact Bond (SIB) in the United States. Under the SIB model, investors provide up-front capital for preventive interventions and government only pays when measurable results are achieved. In New York City’s case, the SIB will fund services to about 3,000 adolescent men (ages 16 to 18) who are jailed at Rikers Island. The goal of the initiative, which will run from 2012 to 2015, is to reduce recidivism and its related budgetary and social costs.
Social Impact Bonds – also referred to as Pay for Success approaches – are being considered in a growing number of cities, states and federal agencies as a way to speed up the pace of social innovation, fund preventive services at a time of tight budgets, and improve social policy outcomes and reduce costs. The results from New York City’s SIB will therefore have implications across the nation.
As you listen to the interview, it may be helpful to view this diagram of the organizations involved in the Rikers Island SIB. To learn more SIBs/Pay for Success more generally, resources include the learning hub maintained by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Harvard’s SIB Lab, and this overview article from Community Development Investment Review.
Web extra: Linda Gibbs discusses the city’s broader effort to strengthen evidence-based policy, including strengthening its analytic capabilities to learn and do what works in social policy. [click here]