Blog by Kim Keaton, CSH Director of Data and Analytics, and Stephanie Mercier, CSH Director of Impact Investment
The Second Chance Act is breathing new life into Pay for Success and Outcomes-based Contracting, and states and communities as well as Indian tribal governments should take note and seize on this exciting opportunity for resources that could lead to better, more effective programs and policies.
Originally enacted in 2007, The Second Chance Act (SCA) supports state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities. Reauthorized just this past year, monies from SCA are now being utilized by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance for grants to state and local governments to convert reentry and permanent supportive housing service contracts into outcomes-based contracts with the goals of ensuring accountability and reducing recidivism. By encouraging effective programs that work, the grants aim to increase stability through nights housed in order to reduce recidivism and save money on emergency services, and that’s why supportive housing fits in so nicely.
For several years now, CSH has been demonstrating how supportive housing can successfully house those formerly incarcerated, opening their lives to services that greatly reduce the likelihood they will end up homeless or in jail or prison again. Known as FUSE, this supportive housing model has taken root in dozens of communities across the country and is breaking the all-too familiar cycle where formerly incarcerated individuals leave jail or prison, have no place to go and no job, find themselves homeless, in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals, and then eventually re-incarcerated. This revolving door is very expensive to taxpayers because of the costly emergency services and crisis care that become the defaults for individuals caught up in an endless downward spiral.
FUSE, which was designed by CSH, shows community leaders a way out of costly over-reliance on crisis response services such as jails, ambulance transports, and emergency room visits that do not reduce recidivism or provide people with a clear path to improving their lives.
Instead of despair, individuals leaving incarceration where FUSE is in practice find a permanent home of their own and wrap-around support services that connect them to community-based services like medical care, mental health treatment, substance use care, workforce development and other life-enhancing programs.
Because FUSE relies on transparent processes where providers throughout the chain are held accountable and share data, demonstrate results, and strive to improve performance, Pay for Success principles are inherent in this type of supportive housing.
In communities nationwide, CSH has been leading the way in helping local leaders structure innovative Pay for Success contracting and financing to promote the creation of supportive housing for FUSE and other populations. We are uniquely positioned to support government and social impact investors in results-based contracts given our deep experience designing, implementing and investing in such initiatives.
CSH knows what it takes to formulate and develop Pay for Success outcomes-based contracts. It’s a process that requires resources and, fortuitously, the new grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance afford state, local, and tribal governments the opportunity to access funds that will help pay for the pricing, writing, negotiation and management of contracts based on Pay for Success.
In addition, the grants will cover contracted services including critical reentry services tailored to individuals leaving incarceration who are at moderate to high risk for recidivism in the community as well as services available to individuals living in supportive housing.
CSH is eager to help entities eligible for these grants navigate FUSE and the ins and outs of Pay for Success contracting. Understanding both will give communities that are pursuing these grant funds an edge in their applications.
If you are a state, community or Indian tribal government interested in these grants and want to know more about them, please contact CSH at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read the grant announcement in full by clicking on: Second Chance Act Pay for Success Initiative: Outcomes-based Contracting to Lower Recidivism and Homelessness FY 2019 Competitive Grant Solicitation.