Blue Sky Development is a social enterprise that reduces re-offending by offering employment to ex-offenders in contracts with local authority and private sector clients. Blue Sky approached Pro Bono Economics as they wanted support in creating an Economic and Social Impact Model that would allow them to predict the economic and social value benefits of Blue Sky to local authorities and businesses. With re-offending costing the taxpayer between £9.5bn and £13bn a year, Blue Sky also wanted to understand how it contributes to creating savings to the public purse when Blue Sky employees desist from crime and become economically active.
Pro Bono Economics matched Blue Sky with Professor Andrew Newell, an academic from the University of Sussex. The key finding of the report was that the impact of Blue Sky’s activities in terms of reduced re-offending, lowering unemployment and reducing substance abuse is about £18,600 for each ex-offender who completes the Blue Sky programme. For further research, and to calculate an even more accurate costing of the benefits of Blue Sky, Blue Sky should investigate the legal and other costs of offences that drive this result.