An interview with Kristin Misner of the NYC Mayor’s Office about social impact bonds and the ABLE project

Last August, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the nonprofit organization MDRC, announced the first project in the United States that is funded by a social impact bond (SIB). The Osborne Association and Friends of Island Academy will deliver the program—the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience (ABLE)—at the city’s Department of Correction facilities at Rikers Island, and the Vera Institute of Justice will evaluate it.

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Quantity isn’t quality: A look at the complex costs and benefits of policing

by , January 30, 2013

A page-one article in Saturday’s New York Times raised fascinating questions about what other jurisdictions can learn from New York City, where the police force expanded in the 1990s and both crime and incarceration have decreased since then. CBKB staff often field questions about whether the benefits of hiring more police officers outweigh the costs.

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Misperception #2: Policymakers use cost-benefit studies to justify more public spending.

by , March 28, 2012

A cost-benefit analysis, when done properly, can provide a solid justification for more government spending (or public investment, depending on your point of view). But cost-benefit studies can also address other questions:

In what areas can government reduce or avoid spending? One of the best-known examples is the Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s examination of program and policy options to reduce the future need for prison beds, reduce crime, and save taxpayer dollars, the results of which enabled the state to avoid building a new prison in 2007.

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