Scaling Restorative Community Conferencing Through a Pay for Success Model: A Feasibility Assessment Report

In December 2013, The California Endowment funded the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) and Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. to conduct a feasibility study on restorative community conferencing (RCC) to better understand its potential for a Pay for Success (PFS) project. An analysis of available data gathered since 2012 has revealed that of the young people who completed Alameda County’s RCC program, 26.5% were rearrested compared with 45.0% of a matched sample of youth whose cases were processed through the juvenile justice system. Notably, only 11.8% of the RCC youth were subsequently adjudicated delinquent— that is, determined by the court to have committed another delinquent act—compared with 31.4% of the matched sample of youth whose cases were processed through the juvenile justice system. Of participating crime victims, 99% stated they would participate in another RCC. This program also carries significant cost-saving potential, as these lower rates of reoffending combine with a one-time cost of $4,500 per RCC versus $23,000 per year for a youth on probation. With such promising data, NCCD and Third Sector sought to better understand how RCC could be scaled through a PFS project and what capacity building would need to take place for such a project to be feasible. The results of this analysis are detailed in the feasibility report.