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Roca and Pay for Success (PFS)

This year, Roca and the Commonwealth launched the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Project, which is designed to improve the lives of hundreds of high-risk young men while reducing recidivism, saving taxpayer dollars, and promoting safer and stronger communities. Third Sector Capital Partners has been chosen by the Commonwealth as the financial intermediary for the project, who is tasked with raising the capital needed for front-end service implementation.

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Pay for Success, also known as social innovation financing, is an unprecedented innovation in state government and criminal justice reform. The general premise of PFS is simple: public officials identify an area of government that is producing poor outcomes (fiscal and social) and contract with a private entity to produce better outcomes for the state.

The innovation, however, is in the structure of the contract; the government pays for success, reimbursing the service provider if and when better outcomes are achieved.

As one of the first states in the nation to launch a pay for success project, Massachusetts will focus the pilot program on reducing incarceration rates among high-risk young men that were formerly involved in the justice system.

The Social Innovation Financing Project will:

  • Utilize Roca’s Intervention Model, which is based on a simple, but powerful theory: when young people are reengaged through positive and intensive relationships they can gain competencies in life skills, education and employment and move towards economic independence and living out of harm’s way.
  • Create better social and fiscal outcomes for the state by reducing crime and incarceration among young men that age out of state juvenile custody, supervision and probation;
  • Be funded through a cutting edge, pay-for-success financing model, using private investments to pay for services on the front end, which the Commonwealth will reimburse only if and when outcome benchmarks are hit;
  • Remove the financial burden from the public, generating long-term cost savings.

Through Pay for Success, Roca will provide its Intervention Model to approximately 924 “high-risk” young men aging out of the Department of Youth Services and Juvenile Probation and/or high-risk young men on Adult Probation in Boston, Springfield, and the surrounding communities. Through this project, it is projected that 248 incarcerations will be avoided (224,205 days of incarceration). This amounts to a 45% reduction in incarcerations among the targeted population, measured through a randomized controlled trial evaluation, resulting in increased accountability on the part of Roca and remarkable outcomes for the state.

Roca was chosen as the primary service provider for the 5-year pilot phase* of the project because of its track record of cross-institutional cooperation, rigorous data tracking, and its success and history of proven results with this population.

Slide on State DataTHROUGH PAY FOR SUCCESS, ROCA WILL BE PAID ONLY FOR THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO SUCCESSFULLY AVOID RE-INCARCERATION AND OBTAIN AND RETAIN EMPLOYMENT.

*SHOULD THE PROJECT PROVE SUCCESSFUL, ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR SUCCESS PAYMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WILL EXTEND THE PROJECT, SERVING A TOTAL OF 1,320 YOUNG MEN OVER 9 YEARS.

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