Man playing a trumpet at night.

Expanding Recovery Housing to Reduce Recidivism in Louisiana

Public Sector Solutions, Public Safety & Reentry


$2.45MGrant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Second Chance Act Pay for Success Initiative


Percent of incarcerated people in Louisiana with substance use needs

Social Finance is partnering with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections (the Department) to implement a $2.45 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)’s Second Chance Act Pay for Success Initiative. The project will provide recovery housing—sober living environments led through peer-based support—to recently incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders in the Greater New Orleans area through outcomes-based contracts aiming to reduce recidivism.


  • Serve formerly incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders in the Greater New Orleans area with recovery housing and other supports.
  • Build the supply of recovery housing in Louisiana.
  • Leverage funding from BJA to pilot outcomes-based contracting with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections.

The Work

  • Priority population identification: Social Finance analyzed administrative data, consolidated existing literature, and interviewed community stakeholders to identify several priority populations for services, including individuals who participated in pre-release substance use programs and individuals with moderate or high substance use needs identified through the state’s risks and needs assessment. The state seeks to prioritize those that make up a large percentage of the Department of Public Safety & Corrections population. For example, 67% of people in Louisiana’s prisons are Black.
  • Availability assessment of recovery housing: Assessed the number of recovery houses in the Greater New Orleans area and the potential gaps in services. Scanned the available literature to understand how recovery housing can improve long-term outcomes for residents.
  • Service provider engagement: With Social Finance’s support, the Department has contracted two service providers for the project using a series of outcomes-based performance contracts. In addition to receiving funding to support service delivery, each provider will receive incentive payments of up to 5% in addition to their contract values if they help participants achieve the predetermined metrics.
  • Metric selection: To ensure that this initiative addresses the needs of currently incarcerated individuals, we worked with the Department to survey more than 70 individuals participating in a pre-release substance use treatment program to understand their goals upon release. The top three outcome goals were avoiding contact with the criminal legal system, maintaining sobriety, and obtaining full-time employment, which informed the metrics selected for the outcomes-based contracts.
  • Metric pricing: Developed each metric’s payment amount (or “price”) based on available funding and estimated provider performance.

The Results

Starting in 2023, the project will begin delivering recovery housing services to recently incarcerated individuals. Social Finance will support the Department to track providers’ progress and inform recommendations to providers for supporting metric achievement.

Partners and Supporters

Related Work