In 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched a pay-for-success program aimed at reducing recidivism among juvenile and adult offenders while improving the lives of hundreds of high-risk young men, saving taxpayer dollars, and strengthening communities. Referred to as the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Project, this program was the third large-scale implementation of a pay-for-success model according to a Harvard Business School (HBS) case study entitled, “Massachusetts Pay for Success Contracts: Reducing Juvenile and Young Adult Recidivism.” The authors examine the innovative model, including the role of Roca, a Massachusetts non-profit serving at-risk youth and young offenders, as the program’s service provider. As service provider, Roca helps young people transform their lives and disrupt the cycle of incarceration through cognitive-restructuring, motivational interviewing, stage-based learning, and transitional employment.
The program is funded mainly with private sector dollars; Massachusetts makes payments back to investors only if positive societal outcome targets are met. A third party provides statistical evaluation to measure impact and, as the independent validator, PCG verifies the statistical evaluation and success payments. PCG has served as the validator of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Project since 2013.
The HBS case is available here.