The first official Social Impact Bond undertaking in the US was announced in August 2012 by the City of New York.

The proposed program consisted of a four-year project designed to reduce the recidivism rate for adolescent men incarcerated at New York’s Rikers Island jail. Goldman Sachs committed to providing a $9.6 million loan to finance the program, which was based on a program called “ABLE” (Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience) piloted by the Bloomberg administration’s Young Men’s Initiative. Notably, the Goldman Sachs investment was backed by a $7.2 million guarantee from Bloomberg Philanthropies, thus significantly reducing the financial exposure of Goldman Sachs should the program fail to meet its targeted objectives.

The intermediary designated to report the results of the intervention was MDRC, a leading social policy organization with experience in measuring transitional job programs. More Information