Salt Lake City launches pay-for-success bond to help ex-offenders stay out of prison



Salt Lake County is the home of one-quarter of all social impact bonds launched in the U.S. That’s only a dozen total, but SLC has three of them.

The newest is the $5.95 million REACH program (which stands for Recovery, Engagement, Assessment, Career and Housing) to help the formerly incarcerated stay out of prison with help for mental health and substance abuse problems. The six-year program will work with 225 adults.

Another “social impact bond,” launched last year, also helps people stay out of jail by providing housing assistance to 315 homeless individuals.

The two programs are part of an $11.5 million initiative commissioned by Salt Lake County and backed by the Sorenson Impact Center and investors such as Northern Trust and Living Cities (read more from Living Cities on the REACH project).

There have been four other homelessness and three other anti-recidivism pay-for-success efforts. One, on New York City’s Riker’s Island, was abandoned.

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