Paying for Results

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Knowing that results matter, Los Angeles County is looking to increase partnerships with organizations that show clear, measurable, positive outcomes for the programs they run and the work that they do.

The so-called “Pay for Success” model has been used nationwide as a way to bring together nonprofit expertise, private sector funding and rigorous evaluation to transform the way government and society respond to protracted social problems such as prison overcrowding, homelessness, child welfare, probation services and infant care.

The concept is straightforward: providers receive funding when they have demonstrated positive outcomes.

The Pay for Success model will help Los Angeles County expand successful pilot programs like “Just in Reach,” a program that helps soon-to-be-released inmates so they do not become homeless or re-commit crimes by providing services such as mental health help, job placement, housing, social services and educational opportunities.

A thorough review of outcome data by the county’s Chief Executive Office, showed only 24 percent of the Just in Reach participants were re-convicted within one year of their release compared to 65 percent of those from the general inmate population.

“Just in Reach has demonstrated it works well,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who with Supervisor Knabe, authored the unanimously adopted motions directing the county to use Pay for Success to expand this type of program and others that demonstrate promise.   “Just in Reach and other health and social programs that show accountability and bonafide results should be scaled up throughout the county. Through public-private partnerships we can address these complicated problems and improve outcomes for our residents.”