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Oklahoma Launches Pay-for-Success Program for Prison-Diversion Program

Posted: April 18, 2017

The State of Oklahoma, in partnership with Tulsa-based Family & Children's Services, has announced a pay-for-success (PFS) contract with Women in Recovery aimed at reducing the female incarceration rate in the state, the highest in the nation.

Established in 2009, Women in Recovery is an intensive outpatient alternative for women facing long-term prison sentences for drug-related offenses. The program works closely with the criminal justice system and multiple community partners to ensure that program participants receive supervision, substance abuse and mental health treatment, workforce readiness training, and assistance with parent-child reunification, equipping them with the skills they need to become productive members of society. The PFS contract with the state will enable WIR to expand its services to up to a hundred and twenty-five women annually for up to five years.

According to the  agreement, the state will require Family & Children's Services to secure at least $2 million in capital to fund the WIR program each year of the five-year term of the agreement before the contract can be renewed. To reduce the financial risk for the state and assure the continued financial solvency of WIR, the George Kaiser Family Foundation will continue to provide $1.8 million a year to organizations working to address the high rate of female incarceration in Tulsa County, including WIR. The funding from the foundation allows for payments from the state to be re-invested directly into a program as milestones are achieved.

Because payments are only made when program outcomes are achieved, the pay-for-success model transfers risk from taxpayers to the private sector, allowing a state like Oklahoma to pursue promising interventions while realizing long-term cost savings.

Read more on PhilanthropyNewsDigest.org.



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