The Bond Market and Public Safety

John Roman and Jeffrey A. Butts (2011). The Bond Market and Public Safety. Commentary. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. At least 40 states face swelling budget deficits. Likely targets for reductions include the discretionary social programs that protect public safety. Rather than jeopardize the public’s safety and well-being with imprudent cuts, a different and better way out of the financing crunch is explained by two criminologists: the social impact bond. …

Safety (in this case) and the public good (more generally) dictate continued funding for effective programs with long-term benefits, but recession politics naturally breeds short-term thinking. Stimulating private investment in cost-effective social programs could make long-term thinking more profitable and make entire communities better off even in these tough economic times.