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This was a hot topic on our show tonight and we had every line ringing, many in support of this program. It seems like a win-win: The City doesn't risk it's money if the program fails and $2 million is a drop in the bucket for a company like Goldman, which gets the good PR. Here's hoping it works.
New York City will be the first in the country to use "social impact bonds" on young inmates at Rikers Island. As part of the four-year program, Goldman Sachs will provide a $9.6 million loan to pay for the "personal responsibility education, training and counseling" of an estimated 3,000 inmates between the ages of 16 to 18.
Currently, almost 50% of adolescents who leave Rikers return there within one year. If Goldman's program reduces that by more than 10%, the firm could make $2.1 million in profit, at no additional cost to tax payers. If the recidivism rate doesn't drop at least 10%, the Wall Street firm could lose $2.4 million. Do you support this idea?
What's your reaction to this program? Do you support trying "social impact bonds" with Rikers Island inmates? Do you think programs like these can have an impact on the recent spate of gun violence in the City? What is your suggestion on ways to make sure young New Yorkers don't become repeat offenders?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
I hope it will help (and not just help Goldman try and polish its image). Seems like education and poverty reduction initiatives should be the emphasis outside prison.
Upper West Side
I believe it is a great idea. The young men deserve a second chance at becoming responsible and productive citizens. I hope all goes well and they succeed.
Just like Wall Street. Always looking out for their own kind.
Upper East Side
What kind of double talk is this? Do you mean that once again we stand to lose money on another of this mayors stupid ideas. How is all of this our problem all the time. Wall Street has an awful lot to answer for. They and all of their cohorts that have caused this recession and the hardships to many hard working families should be in jail.
WHAT IS THIS PROGRAM SUPPOSE TO BE A GUILT COMPLEX. IT SURE AS HELL SOUNDS LIKE A METHOD TO SOME SORT OF MADNESS. BELIEVE ME THEY HAVE NO HEART AND NO FEELINGS FOR ANY OF US AT ALL AND MY QUESTION IS WHY WOULD THEY CHOOSE TO HELP OUT NOW.
WE ALWAYS MANAGE TO GET INSULTED BY THIS MAYOR ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
NO I DON'T SUPPORT IT!!!!!!!!!!!
My problem with this is that many, thousands of people are in jail for actions that, rationally, are not crimes. A crime is an action that violates another person’s individual rights. Nothing else is a crime, yet there are hundreds of statutes defining such acts as crimes.
So, if prisoners are let out into the same context, i.e. if the government doesn’t repeal these illegal crime laws, the chance of recidivism will remain high.
The major human actions for which most people are in prison is the sale and/or use of drugs. Yet there is no violation of individual rights if I smoke a joint or if I sell marijuana, crack, cocaine or any other drug voluntarily to a buyer.
End drug laws and the prisons will empty out and the enormous expense of imprisoning people will be reduced dramatically. End drug laws and most of the violence on the street will also disappear. If you could go into your local bodega and buy a joint for a dime or even a quarter, who would be motivated to kill the owner and steal the joint?
its too little too late but its about time these hucksters demonstrated a scintilla of a social conscience. Im for it I like the odds but they should fund head start programs as well and tell the Koch brothers and tea party pencil necks to take a hike.
Although I would want to understand more about how these bonds work, I think the idea is intriguing and I commend the mayor for giving it a try. There are many desperately needed social services that taxpayers and the City can't afford right now, and it makes sense to try creative ideas to raise money to fund them.
I have a 15yr old son. Whom I love very much. But I know a lot of kids who come from good homes with loving families who choose to be a thug or a gangster. Make jail HARD. Stop pampering these lawbreakers. Give them mandatory rehabilitative services when they finish their sentences. While they are in there let them sweat it out and ponder why they are there in the first place. The saving souls and grace method of the Quakers is not making it on Watson ave in the Bronx.
Take that $10 Million dollars and give the kids job training, jobs and place them in adult housing - away from the people and areas where they got in trouble.
Only the Non-profits benefit, Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg get a nice " charity " write off. The kids become guinea pigs.
I HOPE this is a legitimate program and not just another corporation that is looking to make a profit from this situation.
Will this so-called education also provide skills training so these individuals, once out of prison, can then take that skill and find a job?
But all of the education in the world won't be of much help if the outside world continues to treat ex-inmates the way that they do.
How many companies are looking to hire someone who has just been released from prison?
Will financial aid now become available to all inmates once they have done their time and supposedly "paid their debt to society" so they can go to school to earn a degree or learn a trade?
Will housing become available to them?
We have to change the culture towards ex inmates outside the prisons just as much as we need to change the culture inside the prisons.
If these young boys want to change, it is up to them to change. Programs will not help them at all. Also, old offenders need to make a decision to change or not.
The director of osborne said it all when she stated that only in NY are these KIDS not in the juvenile justice system. Treating these KIDS like incarcerated adults is the reason for the recidivism, the jail system turns them into hardened criminals. I don’t trust the hedge fund managers making a profit out of this, it’s all about greed with them, investing in kids in prison is all about creating something that they can market and sell. But at least it’s something, the system treats these KIDS like throwaways, it’s immoral and unjust.
I can see how the Goldman plan will work : seeing as how its executives never go to jail for fraud, it makes sense that Goldman can help repeat offenders : just recruit prisoners to go work for Goldman.
70-80 percent of juvenile inmates cannot read on grade level! The mayor has learned about the magnitude of reading difficulties recently through his Young Men's Initiative.". Goldman Sachs should put their money into teaching them to read, so they can participate in the larger society.
Susan Crawford, Director
The Right to Read Project
If Goldman Sachs truly cares about this youth they should invest in a special education in schools and different programs in the communities of these kids. They will also be more truthful if they were to donate to the Doe Fund, but instead they give the money to prisons for a profit? This is obviously a false campaign to make money.
Goldman should hire a different marketing agent, they are not very convincing...
Upper East Side
Why must private enterprise have to step in to correct a problem that could have been avoided if these inmates stayed in school and read some books? This is another crutch for those who refuse to function responsibly in society, all at taxpayers expense.
It is 9:18 this afternoon you spend all the mony you want to change those young people its not going to work.If look at society right now they dont care how many times they come and go .We dont owe them a damn thing for being to ignorant about a good responsibul life on this planet - No i dont support the program -Without family structure to make your child responsbile for his or her actions we will always be coming up with dumb programs to fix them.
I get the resentment about goldman Sachs, but Obama favors social impact bonds calling it PAY for success.
I am excited that New york is trying something of unprecedented scale.
Social Impact Bonds seek to address the fundamental problem that government often lacks the dollars to launch a program now that may lower costs in the future.
So, without the private investors, government, typically lacks the dollars to implement an expensive strategy like this one, that, if successful, could save the city more than the program costs. The saving comes from:
i. lowering the cost of correctional officer salaries and overtime that would be incurred to control higher rates of jail violence and
ii. lowering the cost of re-incarcerating the 16-18 yr olds another time.)
By shifting the risk of failure to private investors, the city can launch a program that may save money in the future.
I am a former NYC Department of Correction employee my tenure lasted fourteen years, I think this is a great program for inmates at that age bracket. We lose them back to the streets because they are not prepared for it. And, for the matter the program should be expanded! The released young adult should be mandated to report the 2nd day after release, preventing that precious lost time "hanging on the block reacquainting old habits". In this "what I will call my system" it would be a precursor to obtaining welfare benefits.
Given the high recitivism statistics, what is currently In place clearly inmates would benefit from additional support.
I think people hear the work "bank" and go into a tizzy. I keep hearing suggestions where GS should be spending their money. GS is at least attempting something beneficial on something they feel is important.
Everybody needs a boost over the fence and when one has a prison record and no training, it is all the more critical
I REJECT TO THIS, give them a job to work and pay for their own food in jail
and stop using the tax payers money
The phone calls will definitely work My daughter attended Satellite Academy some years ago where the teachers did morning calls to wake up the students and it worked. Listen, anything that will help children of today is worth the time and energy. I say go for it!
These inmates are in the position they are in because of the decisions they made. Why not invest some money in the victims of these inmates? I don't believe the program will work. There are people losing there jobs everyday and the allure of fast money will always attract the young. Unfortunately fast money is almost always illegal money.
Upper West Side
This program is a great start. I totally support the program and the organization chosen to pilot it. Once goals are met I truly believe goverment and other private funders will come aboard and aid in the expansion of this work.
They should have a alternative jobs program targeting 9th graders with high absenteeism and or criminal problems. Instead of going to academic high school. Otherwise they drop out and end up jail.
Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but this won't do one iota of good. These kids feel glorified and empowered by their miserable criminal lives, no different than mafia thugs. The only way to prevent repeat offenses is to keep them in prison. Repealing the Rockefeller Drug Laws was the biggest mistake of the decade.
Upper West Side