Peterborough SIB to Phase Out in 2015

There has been a great deal of speculation and conversation following the announcement from the UK's Minister of Justice that the Peterborough Social Impact Bond will be curtailed in June 2015. Hailed as ground-breaking, the world's first social impact bond has gone on to spawn countless more in the UK, the US, and elsewhere, and provides a suite of interventions to short-term offenders at Peterborough prison to reduce the rate of recidivism. The intervention, named the "One Service," was to be delivered to 3 cohorts of 1000 offenders each with payments to investors based on the outcomes the intervention was able to achieve. Unlike many subsequent SIBs, the investors in the Peterborough SIB are all charities. The outcomes payments will come from The Big Lottery Fund and the Ministry of Justice. While the official outcomes figures for the first two cohorts of offenders have not yet been released, the interim figures tell a very promising story. 

Nevertheless, after June 2015 - five years after its launch - the intervention will not continue to be a SIB due to an a change in approach to UK probation and rehabilitation services released by the Ministry of Justice called Transforming Rehabilitation (TR). TR will offer rehabilitation services to all offenders across the UK. Prior to the SIB, short-term (<12 months) male offenders did not receive rehabilitation services, a gap the SIB was able to fill. With the implementation of TR at the end of 2014, this contingent of offenders will no longer be left out by the UK's overarching strategy for rehabilitation.

The third cohort of 1000 will receive intervention services (may or may not be the One Services), but under a new funding structure which will not include outcomes payments to investors. This change was not intended to be a referendum on the success of the SIB, though critics speculate otherwise. Actually, many consider the SIB a clear success. While the sector waits for the official figures on the first two cohorts to be released, the interim figures can be found, here.

For more information:

Social Finance Statement - Peterborough Social Impact Bond (4.24.2014)

Musings on Finance and Social Change, "Peterborough SIB – a success or a failure?" (4.25.2014)

Third Sector, "Analysis: Why the social impact bond at Peterborough prison is being halted." (5.21.2014)

Michael Belinsky, "UK government scales up some innovations piloted in the Peterborough social impact bond, but by doing so alters the pilot program." (5.5.2014)

Civil Society Finance, "Social impact bond pilot to be replaced by 'alternative arrangement'." (4.25.2014)

Pioneers Post, "UK’s transforming rehabilitation plans sideline pioneering Peterborough SIB." (4.24.2014)


Resource Type



Nonprofits/Service Providers
Foundation/Philanthropic Investor
Evaluators/Impact Measurement Specialists


Legislative Issues
Concerns and Criticism
Financial Issues
SIB Models and Structures


social impact bond
Social Finance
One Service
Ministry of Justice
Transforming Rehabilitation