The Ministry of Justice has published interim figures for Peterborough this morning (31 October 2013). The figures track the frequency of reconvictions events over twelve months of the first 16 months of the first cohort of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond for the first time. This is compared to a national frequency rate.
The figures suggest that there has been a 12% decline in the frequency of convictions events per 100 prisoners since 2008 in Peterborough alongside a 11% increase nationally.
We cannot infer from the figures whether the pilot has been a success or whether an outcome payment will be triggered because the measurements used are distinct from those which will be used for the Peterborough Social Impact Bond. The Peterborough cohort will be compared by an independent assessor with a statistically compiled control group.
The first results of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond are expected in April 2014.
Social Finance notes the suggestion that the progress of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond supports the case for the Transforming Rehabilitation initiative.
The Peterborough Social Impact Partnership was established to test the proposition that providing additional sustained support to short sentenced male offenders pre and post release. This would address a clear and unmet need and improve their lives in a way which would reduce their tendency to re-offend and thereby generate benefits for society and the taxpayer.
Short sentenced male offenders are a specific segment of the prison population who currently receive no support from probation or any other statutory body. We are encouraged that as part of its plan for Transforming Rehabilitation, the Government plans to extend statutory support to this vulnerable group and that the Peterborough Social Impact Partnership may have played a role in highlighting the importance of addressing this unmet need.
However, although the precise details are not yet clear, Transforming Rehabilitation also envisages a much wider restructuring of the delivery of existing probation services which support the broader prison population. The success or otherwise of the Peterborough pilot is of limited relevance to assessing the merits of these changes.
For more information, please contact Alisa Helbitz, Communications Director, on 07500 433 044 or www.socialfinance.org.uk / @socfinuk