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Performance-Based Contracts Continue to Positively Affect Recidivism


August 25, 2015
Performance-Based Contracts Continue to Positively Affect Recidivism
Harrisburg, PA – Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, today, released information about the performance of community corrections center contractors.
“For the most recent marking period, which covers July 2014 to June 2015, overall recidivism for our contracted community corrections centers is down 11.3 percent,” Wetzel said.  “It is estimated that this prevented approximately 122 potential victims of crime in Pennsylvania during this second marking period.”
Officials also report that six of the 42 centers (14 percent) qualified to receive an incentive of a one percent increase in the per diem rate that the DOC pays them per client.
Only one center entered into warning status.  A center is placed into warning status if its recidivism rate during any one period of the contract exceeds the established baseline range, which is the range of recidivism rates that is considered an acceptable average based on historical rates.  If a center exceeds the baseline a second consecutive period, after already being placed in a warning status, the DOC can cancels that center’s contract.
The results of this marking period show a second consecutive period of reduction in the recidivism rate and continued acceptance and work toward improvement by the contractors. 
“The results are very encouraging and show that our performance-based contracting continues to work to reduce recidivism, improve our community corrections system and increase public safety,” Wetzel said.
Contractors are required to maintain baseline recidivism rates against which their performance is evaluated.  This “performance incentive funding” contract model was developed as a result of a partnership between the DOC and the University of Maryland and is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
As a result of this performance-based contracting work, the DOC, along with other non-profit community groups and law enforcement agencies from across the U.S., were recognized in June at the Pioneer Institute’s “Better Government Competition” Awards dinner, which is an annual citizens’ ideas contest that rewards some of the nation’s most innovative public policy proposals.
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