With more than 20% of the world’s incarcerated population and $80 billion in annual spending, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. While approximately 650,000 individuals are released from state or federal prison each year, more than two-thirds of these people will return to prison within three years. For many, the path to successful re-integration is met with significant barriers to basic needs such as employment, housing, healthcare and education. Outcomes-based strategies can expand access to preventative, evidence-based programs focused on improving desistance and providing support that can maximize the chance of a healthy and stable life post-incarceration.

How We Help

  • Work with criminal justice agencies, service providers, philanthropies, and governments to lower crime, reduce recidivism, and provide access to supports such as housing and employment for formerly incarcerated individuals through outcomes-based strategies.
  • Analyze benefits and costs for interventions designed to improve outcomes, and summarize findings and potential implementation strategies.
  • Explore and structure outcomes-based contracts aimed at improving outcomes and accountability.
  • Implement performance measurement and monitoring tools to improve data collection.

“The Center for Employment Opportunities learned so much in engaging in a Pay for Success project with Social Finance. It changed how we operate. It changed how we perform performance management, on a day-to-day basis. And it gave us crucial insights into how to make our program better.”

— Sam Schaeffer, Executive Director and CEO, Center for Employment Opportunities


Ventura County, CA Pay for Success Project to Support Reentry

Deploy $2.6 million in capital to serve 400 individuals on probation with a customized suite of services aimed at reducing recidivism, enhancing public safety, and promoting family stability and economic opportunity. Learn more >

New York State Center for Employment Opportunities Pay for Success Project

Deploy $13.5 million to serve 2,000 formerly incarcerated individuals in New York under a comprehensive employment intervention aimed at increasing employment, reducing re-incarceration, and improving public safety.

Concordance Academy of Leadership Advisory Project in Missouri

Partner with Concordance, a comprehensive reentry services provider dedicated to improving criminal justice outcomes, by: conducting a cost-benefit analysis on the fiscal benefit to the state of Missouri for improving recidivism outcomes; completing operational and fiscal modeling for scaling Concordance’s services under different funding designs and scenarios; and providing expertise to define outcomes and design data collection and measurement practices to evaluate program impact.

New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) Violence Prevention Advisory Project

Support the MOCJ in identifying opportunities to scale a violence prevention intervention, Cure Violence, in New York City. Identify sustainable funding sources, calculating program benefits for communities and value accrual to state and federal jurisdictions and supporting a federal grant application, culminating in a $17.6 million funding request.

Active Performance Management in Marion County, OR

Work with the Marion County Juvenile Department to develop a data collection and performance management system for an intervention designed to reduce recidivism, improve family relationships, and reduce juvenile problem behavior in children who interacted with the juvenile justice system.

Oklahoma Women in Recovery Pay for Success Project

Assist in the development of a PFS project to serve 625 women in an intensive outpatient alternative to prison to reduce the impact of incarceration on families. Learn more >

See more projects >>

Our Team

The world’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB) was pioneered in the UK by Social Finance UK, with a focus on improving recidivism outcomes for individuals at Peterborough prison by providing holistic services including housing, training, employment, parenting, substance use, and mental health treatment. Building on the success of our U.K. colleagues, Social Finance US launched its first PFS project in 2013 aimed at improving employment and recidivism outcomes in New York State with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). Since then, we’ve expanded our reentry and public safety work to counties and states across the country.

In recent years, Social Finance has supported a number of jurisdictions to access state and federal funding that enables them to scale promising programs and improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals. Since 2019, Social Finance has supported several jurisdictions in applying for federal funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) through the Second Chance Act Pay for Success Initiative. This funding is intended to be used by jurisdictions to pay directly for outcomes such as reduced recidivism and improved housing for those returning from incarceration, ensuring accountability of service providers and incentivizing improved performance over time. Of the grantees selected by BJA, Social Finance supported four of these jurisdictions on their applications; collectively, these grantees were awarded more than $8 million in total federal funding. Social Finance also expects to work with a number of the winning jurisdictions to design and implement the outcomes-based contracts under these grants. Learn more >>

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about our reentry and public safety work, contact Director Rachel Levy.