In an Australian first, the New South Wales government will target prisoner recidivism through the use of a social impact investment.

NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Corrections David Elliott announced today that the impact investment will support a new program, On Tracc (Transition Reintegration and Community Connection).

It will work with up to 3,900 parolees over five years to prevent reoffending and re-incarceration and aims to reduce re-offending by 5 per cent by 2019.

On Tracc will provide parolees with intensive individual support to assist their successful reintegration into the community, particularly in their first 16 weeks of parole.

“NSW is leading the way when it comes to social impact investment – and it allows us to address serious challenges facing our community while harnessing the expertise of the Not for Profit sector as well as financial support from private investors,” Berejiklian said.

NAB and the Australian Community Support Organisation are joint investors in the program, highlighting the potential of collaboration between financial services organisations, the community sector and government.

CEO of Impact Investing Australia, Daniel Madhavan welcomes the impact investment saying it “provides a unique model for tackling this issue, and working towards reduced recidivism.”

“Through its whole of government policy and innovative transactions, NSW has played a pioneering role in harnessing impact investment and growing the opportunities for private capital to work alongside public and philanthropic funds in delivering measurable positive social outcomes.

“We are encouraging a more active role for government at all levels to enable and grow the opportunities impact investment. Without government engagement, the potential for impact investment in Australia will not be realised.”

OnTracc will be the third social impact investment venture in NSW, following the Newpin Social Benefit Bond and The Benevolent Society Bond implemented in 2013.