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QLD’s Latest Social Benefit Bond Targets Reoffending


6 September 2017 at 4:03 pm
Lina Caneva
A new social benefit bond aims to reduce the risk of reoffending for young people in Queensland.


Lina Caneva | 6 September 2017 at 4:03 pm


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QLD’s Latest Social Benefit Bond Targets Reoffending
6 September 2017 at 4:03 pm

A new social benefit bond aims to reduce the risk of reoffending for young people in Queensland.

National Australia Bank (NAB) and not-for-profit organisation Life Without Barriers have launched a social benefit bond (SBB) aimed at helping young people at risk of criminal reoffending.

Investors in the bond, arranged and managed by NAB, are set to fund the establishment of Queensland’s first multi-systemic therapy (MST) program, which will be delivered by Life Without Barriers.

Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Queensland government was committed to reducing reoffending rates, particularly among young offenders.

“The current reoffending rate for high risk young people aged 10 to 16 years is 80 per cent, and the SBB target is to achieve a significant reduction in the reoffending rate,” Pitt said.

“The SBB model is particularly applicable in situations where there is no alternative service provided for those young people most in need.”

The MST program will target high risk young people aged 10 to 16 years in Brisbane and surrounding areas, including the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and the Gold Coast.

The government said the program would help young offenders and their families deal with family functioning, school participation rates and substance abuse with the therapy conducted in their homes at times that suited the offender and the family.

Chief executive of Life Without Barriers Claire Robbs said the program had proven to deliver effective results in breaking young offenders out of a cycle of reoffending.

“Without a change from repeat offending, many young people will continue to offend into an adult life,” Robbs said.

“It is well known that punitive sanctions against young offenders, such as detention, are ineffective in reducing reoffending in many cases. This SBB provides investors with an opportunity to play a part in shaping an individual’s future, and reduce the economic, social and financial costs to governments and communities.”

National Australia Bank’s chief of institutional banking Mike Baird said SBBs were a creative way of delivering critical social outcomes for those most at-risk in the community.

“This is the second social benefit transaction arranged by NAB where we have brought together the resources and expertise of private investors, social enterprise and government,” Baird said.

“We are proud to work with the government and non-government sectors to deliver better outcomes for the community and help address the social problems faced by many of our customers and their families.”

The $8.2 million bond is expected to pay a minimum coupon of 3 per cent per annum over its 6.75 year life.

“Coupon payments from the third-year onward will be dependent on the performance level for the reduction in frequency of offending, as well as whether the seriousness of offending improvement threshold of 25 per cent reduction in the frequency of offending behaviour was met,” according to the bond managers.

In June funding for Australia’s first social impact bond for mental health and Queensland’s first social benefit bond uniting children in out-of-home care with their families reached its target just one month after its launch.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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