We focus on the individuals who have been affected by the criminal justice system where we see there is significant potential for social investment to contribute to solutions that transform lives.
Individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system having committed crime typically have a series of multiple and complex needs. Amongst others, these include combinations of family breakdown, depression, exclusion, unemployment, homelessness, poverty and poor physical health. In addition, some groups have specific needs in this context, such as women.
Social investment can help to create change for those affected by the criminal justice system in a number of ways. It can
- Promote innovation. Where interventions need to develop a track record, it can help build an evidence base, focus on the data and recycle the learning to drive service improvement
- Encourage earlier intervention, especially through outcomes-based solutions
- Create scale, by replicating existing models, or bringing in additional funds to address a shortfall
- Support commercial business models, especially those looking to provide training or employment to people leaving prison
There are numerous examples of emerging models that are ready to take on social investment including:
- Property-backed solutions, such as the Real Lettings Property Fund, a proportion of whose tenants used to be in prison
- Businesses employing people who used to be in prison, for example Glasgow Together, or engaging even earlier, such as Freedom Bakery
- Social impact bonds targeting reducing re-offending, a previous example being the Peterborough SIB pilot launched in 2011
- Social enterprises and charities delivering public services, such as within the sub-contracting supply chain for Transforming Rehabilitation. An example is what the North East Social Investment Fund did in 2015, lending to the charity Achieve with NERAF.