Major Study of Potential Maryland Social Impact Bond Recommends Rejection

The Maryland Department of Legislative Services has evaluated the benefits, risks, costs, and feasibility of using social impact bonds as a financing mechanism for reentry programs in Maryland.

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The author examined a reentry community program for offenders.

Recommendations in the report include:

  1. increased budgetary pressures compared to direct public financing
  2. no cost savings
  3. unlikely to shift outcome risk
  4. potential distortion of evidence used in policy decisions.
  5. “The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services should continue to directly finance and operate reentry programs while pursuing other organizational and policy changes likely to have greater impact while posing less risk than a SIB financed program.”

More documents examining Social Impact Bonds can be found here.