For decades, incarceration rates have risen substantially in most countries. This raises important questions about prisons as well as how former prisoners are integrating into society. In Italy, 68% of former prisoners commit offences again. This hurts society and costs about €130 million a year in extra state funding.


Social outcomes contracting is an innovative form of procuring social services based on outcomes rather than outputs. This offers new opportunities for combining public and private money, taking advantage of local private sector innovation and entrepreneurship. In a social outcome contract, the company providing the service is paid according to a measurable social impact, rather than according to the completion of a specific set of tasks.

The feasibility study, developed by EIB experts and external consultants, will help the ministry gain a better understanding of the social needs of former prisoners and the root causes of crime recurrence. The study will include a detailed business case, a cost-benefit analysis, a mapping of services to be provided, a list of companies that could carry out the various services required, and identified potential investors. This will ultimately help the ministry identify the best-suited social outcome contract structures to use public resources efficiently, while also attracting specialised social investors into the scheme.