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Social Impact Bond Created to Fund Youth Jail Diversion Program at Rikers Island
National Jail Exchange

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By Connie Clem, Editor, National Jail Exchange

This short video describes the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience (ABLE) program at New York City's Rikers Island jail complex and its funding via a social impact bond initiative. Social impact bonds are an innovative funding method for public projects. The Rikers Island ABLE program was launched with a loan from investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs. Under the bond terms, if the program doesn't reach its targets in diverting youth from jail, the city is not obligated to repay the loan. If the program succeeds, Goldman Sachs will be repaid and also make a profit. The ABLE program is delivered by MDRC, a nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor.

Bloomberg TV on Social Impact Bond Project at Rikers Island
Deirdre Bolton, Bloomberg TV, March 2013
Length: 3 minutes

For more information: 

Listen to or read a transcript of March 24 coverage from National Public Radio, including comments from New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner Dora Schriro and others:

Goldman Sachs Hopes To Profit By Helping Troubled Teens
NPR March 24, 2013

Goldman to Invest in City Jail Program, Profiting if Recidivism Falls Sharply
David W. Chen New York Times, August 2, 2012 MDRC website

MDRC website

Posted Tue, Jun 25 2013 7:46 AM by Susan Powell


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