In 2017, Reinvestment Fund engaged in a Pay for Success transaction to expand a reentry program that offers evidence-based services to men and women on formal probation in Ventura County, CA.
Recidivism is a significant issue in California: one in every 100 adults is on probation and more than two thirds of those released from prison return within three years. In Ventura County, Interface Children and Family Services, a nonprofit social services agency which has served the County for more than 40 years, will deliver evidence-based, coordinated reentry services designed to reduce arrests, improve public safety, and enhance family stability. Interface will provide reentry support to 400 medium-to-high risk adult probationers over four years.
In Ventura County, unless a person on probation is in a rare specialty program, the only services available are those available to the general public, such as food banks, housing support, and substance abuse treatment. However, these resources do not address specific criminogenic factors linked to recidivism and other barriers to successful reintegration. As a result, responsibility for accessing such resources relies solely on the client and he or she must bear any associated costs.
The program aims to reduce the number of rearrests and the subsequent financial and social costs of those rearrests in terms of adjudication, incarceration, supervision, and victimization. The target is 10% relative reduction in recidivism as compared to a randomized control group. The impact on the community will be measured by an independent evaluator using administrative data and a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The RCT will be conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles.
Reinvestment Fund provided a senior loan for the $2.6 million PFS project. Other investors in this Social Finance-managed PFS project include Nonprofit Finance Fund, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Investments will be repaid by the County based on the number of avoided rearrests for new crimes within 12 months after program enrollment as compared with the control group receiving traditional services, as well as the number of quarters in which each enrolled client is not arrested based on the County’s data.