Recidivism is a tragedy for everyone – the offender, his/her family, the community as well as taxpayers.  In recent years,  to improve the prospects for positive re-entry of ex-offenders into the community, state prison system officials and policy makers have formed collaborative efforts with faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs). These FBCO collaborations encompass both pre-release (i.e., programs provided for individuals still in prison) and post-release programs, with the most important metric being the reduction in recidivism for program participants.

Social Capital Valuations (SCV) has conducted several EV-ROI analyses for prisoner re-entry programs, including the following:

  • Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program (Houston, Texas)
  • Anthem Strong Families TYROs Program (Dallas, Texas)
  • The Ridge Project (Toledo, Ohio)
  • Builders of Hope (Dallas, Texas)

Bert Smith, President of Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) expressed his appreciation of SCV’s work:

“Social Capital Valuations added tremendous value to the case study performed on PEP. By incorporating the type of financial analysis well recognized in the for-profit sector, supported by good research, he was able to present a solid estimate of the total financial return to the public from our donors’ investment. This type of rigorous ROI analysis helps to further distinguish PEP in our sector and raises both our profile in and our appeal to the philanthropic community.”

PEP begins working with individuals while they are incarcerated, taking them through a unique entrepreneurship program that includes connecting them with a mentor. PEP continues working with participants, after they are released. The post-prison part of the program often takes place through specially-designated congregate living programs to help the ex-offender adjust to life in the community.  PEP boasts a remarkable 3-year recidivism rate of less than seven percent, as compared to the national recidivism rate of about 45 percent.

SCV assisted the PEP program with projecting the taxpayer savings associated with the lower recidivism rates for their program participants.  Using the EV-ROI methodology, SCV projected that PEP provided an estimated $3.40 in economic impact (mostly via taxpayer savings and additional projected income tax revenues) for every $1.00 invested in the program after five years from program completion.  This analysis has been instrumental for PEP in communicating its value to potential funders and to stakeholders within the Texas Department of Corrections.