Step Together Volunteering’s efforts in engaging with ex-offenders could potentially generate reasonable returns on investment, according to a new Pro Bono Economics report.

Using data from around a quarter of the charity’s beneficiaries from 2014-17, the average reoffending rate was shown to be 7%, against 29% in the regions where Step Together Volunteering operates. Considering this, scenario analysis shows a plausible central cost-benefit estimate could be £1: £1.50.

Step Together Volunteering providing tailored, intensive support to around 700 people with complex needs throughout a given year.

The charity approached Pro Bono Economics for help quantifying the social value of its ex-offender rehabilitation programme. A team of volunteers from the UK’s energy regulatory OFGEM was then matched to this project, who used a data sample from 2014-2017 to estimate its potential benefits and social value.

Due to uncertainties around extrapolating this impact in the sample to the full number of beneficiaries helped, scenario analysis was used to calculate the benefit-to-cost ratio, which ranged from 0.2-6.2 dependent on the crime itself and the reduction in reoffending

Step Together Volunteering often helps ex-offenders convicted of a more serious crime, and as such a plausible central estimate of societal benefits may be £1.50 per £1 spent on services.

Thanks go to Mantas Aleksa, Leath Al-Obaidi, Ben Woodham and Anusree Thome for their work on this report, which can be downloaded here. 

25th March 2019