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National Council on Crime and Delinquency Supports Three Communities to Explore Pay for Success Models for Supporting Positive Youth Development

Logo: National Council on Crime and DelinquencyAt a time when the public and policymakers at all levels are paying fresh attention to the racial disparities in law enforcement practices and the criminal justice system, it is increasingly critical to identify and scale strategies that promote strong and safe communities and improve the lives of all people.

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), a 2014 Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee, is supporting three communities across the country to explore the feasibility of using pay for success (PFS) models to promote positive development for youth and reduce their involvement with the juvenile justice system. PFS is a performance-based contracting approach in which government or other entities pay service providers only if and when they achieve demonstrable results.

“Pay for Success can be an innovative mechanism to move from the status quo to a different, more outcome-driven model of providing services for all children and families,” said Kathy Park, NCCD’s chief executive officer.

Based on its prior work in two California counties, NCCD targeted its SIF project on communities in states with the highest rates of racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice and child welfare system involvement. NCCD ultimately selected three SIF subrecipients:

  • The City of New Haven, Connecticut;
  • Community Advocates, Inc., a nonprofit agency in Milwaukee, WI focused on serving low-income neighborhoods; and
  • The Children’s Initiative, a San Diego, CA nonprofit working to improve outcomes for children and families in the city.

As an example of NCCD’s work in these locations, the City of New Haven is evaluating the potential of PFS contracting models to help expand the scale and reach of a promising program that provides expanded support for high school students at risk of dropping out of school. The program, YouthStat, relies on a data-driven approach to identify young people to receive an array of mentoring, tutoring, career readiness training, and other supports intended to get them on track to school success and employment.

NCCD is working with the City of New Haven to analyze the potential scale of the program and the impact a fully scaled program could have on juvenile justice involvement and longer-term academic outcomes of participants. This examination will be paired with a cost-savings analysis to determine the viability of—and potentially attract investors to—a PFS model to expand the scope of the program.

“This is an exciting project that has a great deal of support from the Mayor’s office, the schools, and other local partners, and there is significant interest in finding ways to finance the work on a sustainable basis,” said Deirdre O’Connor, NCCD’s associate director of strategic initiatives.

NCCD is working with each of the three project sites to complete PFS feasibility assessments by the summer of 2016.

Additional information about NCCD’s SIF project can be found online.

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