Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Initiative

The Problem

Nationally, there is a shortage of follow-up services for individuals released from incarceration. Historically, 64 percent of high-risk young men leaving juvenile incarceration or probation end up re-incarcerated within five years of release, and only 35 percent of this population is employed one year after release.

The Basics

Location: Boston, Chelsea, and Springfield, MA

Policy areas: Recidivism, workforce development

Population served: 929 high-risk men aged 17-24 on probation or parole, or incarcerated or exiting the juvenile justice system 

Service provider: Roca Inc.

Size of investment: $21.76 million (including $3.76 million in deferred fees)

Maximum payments possible: $27 million

Investors: Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund ($9 million senior loan), The Kresge Foundation ($1.5 million junior loan), Living Cities ($1.5 million junior loan), the Laura and John Arnold Foundation ($3.7 million grant), New Profit ($2 million grant), The Boston Foundation ($300,000 grant)

Intermediary: Third Sector Capital Partners 

Other partner: Harvard Kennedy School SIB Lab (technical assistance)

Evaluator: Sibalytics LLC, the Urban Institute

Validator: Public Consulting Group

Evaluation methodology: Randomized control trial

Outcome payor: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Outcomes that yield payments: (1) Recidivism bed days avoided, (2) improved job readiness, (3) improved employment outcomes 

Timeframe: 7 year service delivery term, repayment term, and evaluation period

Project start: October 2014

Photo via Shutterstock.

The Intervention

Intervention: Roca is a cognitive-restructuring and skills development intervention for high-risk young men, designed to address the cycle of early incarceration and recidivism. It is a 4-year model that includes four basic elements: outreach; stage-based programming focused on education, pre-vocational training, life skills, transitional employment, and unsubsidized employment; and transformational relationships between organizations and systems.

Evidence base behind the intervention: Based on administrative data, Roca reports that participants show positive short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term outcomes in recidivism and employment.

The effectiveness of this intervention for the target population had been evaluated, and the service provider had provided this intervention previously.