My name is Liz Gallagher, and today’s presentation is going to be on reducing recidivism, improving mental health outcomes, and implementing criminal justice reform. I’m going to introduce our first speaker, Bill Barberg. Bill is the president and founder of Insightformation. He is also a globally recognized expert in strategy management, collective impact, and the balanced scorecard methodology. His work has focused on organizations, communities, and coalitions striving to address complex issues that no one organization can address alone. Bill has spoken at many conferences, workshops, and has done many webinars on strategy management and collective impact and other topics. Several of the world’s leading authors and experts on the balance scorecard including Wayne Eckerson and James Creelman have publicly recognized the exceptional depth and expertise Bill brings to these topics. With that, I give you Bill Barberg.
Alright, thank you very much Liz. So just a quick one-slide introduction to Insightformation, our company based here in Minneapolis. We bring value to clients in four ways. (1) We work a lot on the methodologies and techniques of strategy management. How do you do collective impact and doing scorecards and measurement systems, and we do that through consulting. We also have an online training program. (2) We also have an emphasis on using technology in many of the different issues we address, including a platform we’ve developed called InsightVision, which is a strategy management platform. But we also work with other technologies and today we’ll be touching on two of them, Good Grid and MPOWR. (3)Because we work with many different communities really wrestling with these challenges ranging from poverty and housing to substance abuse and incarceration, and chronic disease prevention and things, we are constantly researching what are the most promising practices and what innovations that we think could help communities or states address these issues, so we bring a lot of that – sometimes in the form of templates, like the template we’ve developed for the opioid crisis, and sometimes just with recommendations on how communities can improve what they’re doing. (4) And the last area we work on is innovations in social finance. There’s a variety of funding practices that we think can improve community collaboration that are not the norm today. I’m actually working on a book in social bonds 2.0, which suggests a very different approach to social impact bonds than that which we consider to be the first generation. So that’s a little bit about our firm.
As far as today’s presentation, Paul Chapman’s going to briefly introduce some of the challenges in Arkansas and the response through the governor’s Summit and the launching of the restore hope initiative. Then, I’ll be looking at just a highlight of some of the techniques and tools that we believe can be very valuable to help states and communities deal with the challenges of incarceration and recidivism. Among those tools we’ll be looking at the strategy map that we developed with the restore hope coalition in Arkansas, and how we can tap into existing organizations and help engage the community working in a more unified way as a team rather than in their own little silos. Then, we’ll briefly look at a second use of technology, which is for person-centered success plans, which we think is valuable when dealing with these issues of incarceration and recidivism.
So with that, Paul, I’ll turn it over to you to briefly introduce what’s going on in Arkansas.
Thanks Bill. I’m Paul Chapman and I’m the executive director of a new organization called Restore Hope, which is a collective impact initiative in Arkansas, with objectives to reduce incarceration, which includes reducing recidivism, and to also reduce the number of children that are coming into the foster care system. I have worked in these areas for just over a decade as a direct service provider, also, I have worked for a large church in Little Rock in central Arkansas. We had funds that we would give for community development and other things. So I got to know many of the organizations and the individuals who cared deeply about this, and it was because of that work that when our governor Asa Hutchinson took office last year, that I was asked to sit on a steering committee to do what – he wanted to make sure that the called the community to engage in the mission – so the slide that we’re on right here shows you the situation that was facing the governor and our state last year. We had the fastest growing prison per capita in the US, the cost of the state is pretty high, the state is 3 million, we’re not a wealth state, so $25,000 a year with an average sentence of about 4 ½ years. People that are going to prison cost taxpayers in the state of Arkansas about $100,000 per pop. To further differentiate, there were over 50% of everyone that goes to prison in Arkansas were sent there because they were unable to meet the demands of some lower supervision. So these aren’t people we’re scared of, at least half of them. We’re just mad at them. Contributing to our high recidivism rate, which is now 53% (which means that you’re more likely to go back than stay out), we’ve got about 50% full-time employment amongst our parolees, which we have a lot of. We’ve got about 55,000 parole and probationers, and just under half of that number would be those on parole. So the governor did three things to set up the possibility of a collective impact initiative when he took office. (1) One was, he said we’re not going to build a new parole prison, although our system is stressed, we need a new prison. (2) Number two, he said that he really wanted to deal with foster care, youth incarceration, and adult incarceration as kind of one issue. This is a justice-involved population.
(3) The third was, he called the faith community to engage. So he wanted the community to engage, and he specifically wanted the faith community to engage.
And so we held a summit – I sat on the steering committee – and at the end of that summit, which was a two-day coming together of workshops and plenary sessions, he said the quote that’s in the brochure and the handout if anyone had those.
He said “We can’t leave here just like this. We need to turn this into an initiative.” And that bothered me greatly, because I knew that there was a window of opportunity actually to take action on many of the things that were barriers in our collective work as the social sector, and as the social sector working with the public sector. So we wrote up a strategy that largely is following the collective impact principles, and we pitched it to the governor and he liked it a lot.
So we launched a non-profit in the beginning of this year, and have been working since then to actually get our first two pilot communities up and then scale to probably about 14 sites over the next couple of years working regionally out from there. One of my first calls was to Bill. I had been introduced to Bill and Insightformation through a mutual friend that’s been doing community development for two or three decades here. He’s networked in the country and he’d just said “I’ve got a friend and you need to speak with Bill.” So Bill and I started talking about what this might look like, and we ran a set of workshops about mid-2016 that produced one of the strategy maps that’s here in this handout.
Why don’t I stop there Bill, and we can do Q&A afterwards. Or is there anything else you wanted me to hit real quick before we go.
No, I think that’s good. [[You can be in as we have questions as we go – people can type them in. Just a little logistics, there is a question panel that you should be able to open in your control panel and type in questions, and you can then collapse your control panel (there’s a little orange arrow so that it doesn’t cover the screen when you’re not needing to type in questions).]]
Thank you Paul. So as we looked at moving forward with addressing this intertwined set of issues with incarceration and foster care, we were pleased that Restore Hope was committed to the collective impact approach. While this approach is still maturing and evolving, it has a lot of very positive aspects to it and it has become more appreciated in how it’s different from everyone just working in their little silos and in fragmentation. The five conditions which contribute to collective impact are shown on this screen here. (1) One of the first ones, one of the foundational ones, for moving forward, is developing a common agenda. We believe that the better job you do at engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders, in co-creating a shared strategy that’s not owned by any one organization but they all feel is their strategy, in their respective organizations and shows how they can work together, that is the foundation for really being able to move forward and address these complex issues. (2)Then you can have shared measurement. (3) You can weave together different organizations working in differentiated but mutually reinforcing ways, basically community teamwork. (4,5) And that’s enable by continuous communication and backbone support. So these are elements that we’ve been working towards with the new Restore Hope Arkansas non-profit, being the organization to help provide that backbone support.
In many communities for many different issues, there can be the agreement that there’s a problem – whether it’s with high school graduation rates or obesity, or just about any other issue – and communities can set some goals and they can agree that they want to work towards them. But the reality is that there’s almost always a lot of different organizations working in different ways, that are pretty fragmented and therefore there’s an execution gap. What collective impact, and the work we do helps to advance, is better alignment of their efforts and more reinforcing so that you can actually succeed in achieving those community outcomes. We’ll share a little bit in this Webinar how we’re doing that in addressing these issues in Restore Hope, Arkansas.
For most non-profit organizations, this is really about learning a new game. It’s helpful to imagine if you had some people who had spent 10 years of their life growing up into their young adulthood, passionate about basketball. But they’d always played one-on-one basketball. And they were very talented, hardworking, and proud of their skills, but you recruited them and put them on a college team. Odds are, they would not do very well, because in basketball, it’s really essential that you can play as a team to win. This doesn’t mean that the people weren’t trying hard, or that they weren’t skilled, but they lacked the techniques to work together as a team. And if the coach pulled them over and said “guys, you need to be passing more,” they might look, because they weren’t used to passing, and if he’d begin drawing a play (like I’m showing on the bottom of the screen) they might not have any idea what it was or how to work with it, because they’re just not used to playing as a team. That’s the way most nonprofit or even government departments or agencies are. In order to achieve success we need to really work on building that community teamwork. We think there’s some shifts in thinking that can really enable that. One is shifting from an organization centered view of “what do I need to do?”, to “what is our community strategy for winning, and what is my organization's role as part of that team?” It’s like when Copernicus said that the universe doesn’t revolve around the earth, it revolves around the sun, that was a huge shift in understanding how things work. This is sort of a Copernican shift in strategic thinking.
As we go out to try to define a community strategy, or a state-wide strategy, we immediately realize that there’s an awful lot of complexity to deal with in these issues. It’s not just a simple problem with a simple solution. And so the technique of using strategy maps is one we believe is very well suited, that we’ve been working on in Arkansas. This is very visual, it is a communication tool, it helps you be creative in coming up with system change ideas, because you’re not just looking for a silver bullet. therefore it’s a way to reduce the fragmentation, break down the silos, and manage change, that allows people to work together.
This is not a strategy map, this is just a diagram showing some of the factors that lead to incarceration. We’re not going to go into it, but you know there’s so many different things of homelessness and poverty and police bias and emotional abuse and unmet health needs that all can contribute into incentives to commit criminal behavior, and ultimately leading to arrest. That can often feed back into these. If we appreciate that there’s a lot of factors here, then it starts to make sense that we need an approach to addressing this issue that can tame that complexity, not just look to try to do some simple thing and hope that’s going to work.
This is another illustration of the complexity. This just looks at the different pathways when a person is arrested, and what can happen. Every red box here means that they’re rearrested. You can see that there’s a lot of different ways that people can end up back in jail, and if you want to really dramatically reduce recidivism, you have to think through responses not just to one place, but to many different parts in this flow.
But, as we looked at how you deal with complexity, we felt that there’s a lot we can learn from the business world. They have learned techniques and tools to manage things that are very complex. This happens to be a diagram showing the building of the Boeing 787, and you can see there were different continents and countries that were working on different pieces of it. They didn’t get together once a month and sit at a whiteboard and say “how are things going,” they had very specific ways of taking a big deliverable and breaking it down into smaller things, because they couldn’t afford to say “let’s just vote with sticky dots and pick the three most important things on the plane because it’s too much to try to take on the whole plane.” They had to get the whole plane to work together. That shows us that it is possible to deal with a lot of complexity, and some of the techniques of taking a big issue and allowing sub-components of that to be delegated, and then showing how they fit together, is part of the accomplishing that.
We do that through the use of a strategy map. A strategy map is organized in three layers, with the outcomes at the top. What are we trying to achieve, or what are the ends. In the middle we have the strategy, which is the means. At the bottom, we look at how are we going to improve our asset and capacity development in order to be able to implement the strategies to get the outcomes.
Strategy maps are built with usually these sort of rounded rectangles that represent a change you’re trying to achieve. You’re trying to reduce incarceration, that’s the change, or you’re trying to reduce recidivism, and so on. Well, that’s not just going to happen, you need other things to change in order to drive that. You should be able to tell a story that, as you make improvements in your capacity as a community, you can make changes in certain strategy objectives that will help you be successful in others, which will ultimately lead to the ends.
In Arkansas, we went through this journey, starting with background research on what they’d been working on, and an in-person workshop in Little Rock, followed up by a series of Webinars with different subsets of groups, and then summarizing this material into a draft and ultimately into a first version of the strategy map. We actually have this one for dealing with incarceration and corrections, and one for dealing with the foster care system. The two are related, but we defined them in separate maps.
These are some pictures of the journey. This was the group, these are actual pictures from our meeting in Little Rock. Dozens of organizations, there was law enforcement, faith communities, universities, nonprofits, ex-offenders, a real diverse group of people from the state, people from the counties. What we said is “if we don’t have the right people at the table here, we need to invite them, because we don’t want to make any excuses. We’ve got the leadership of the governor, we’ve got the leadership of the community stakeholders, let’s make sure we get everybody at the table that’s needed.”
And we took them through a series of exercises that, as you can see in the background, we began to organize into this story of cause and effect as each group worked on different subsets, and then we began to merge it together.
At the end of that day, we took pictures of the stick walls and began to put those into power point, and began adding in some of the content from the reports that we felt was going to add some valuable content. Then we broke them into different groups, and we went through a process in web conference calls where we refined that content.
We added in more content and ideas, and then began cleaning it up. And beginning to provide some structure. There was a whole series of things around positive youth development and educational success. There were some different ideas around how to minimize incarceration.
This led to us coming up with our first draft, and I want to walk through that because I think this framework is something that many communities and states can borrow and build from, and we’re willing to share this. If you’re interested, we can share more details as well.
The outcomes that we settled in on for preventing criminal activity and incarceration, and also reducing recidivism, were to increase livable wage employment among young adults, reduce criminal activity and increase safety, reduce incarceration rates, reduce recidivism rates, reduce ineffective spending (this was key because we wanted the financial consequences of the current practices to be clear, and knowing that one of our goals was to reduce ineffective spending, even though that was going to require investments in other areas), and finally to improve self-sufficiency for released citizens (it wasn’t that we just wanted to keep them dependent on government assistance, we wanted to help them become contributing members of society. So this was the language that we agreed we should all work towards.
To do that, we organized the strategies into 5 categories. (1) there was a category around positive youth development and educational success, (2) helping adults stay on a productive track, (3) minimize incarceration, (4) use incarceration to enable future success (while they were in jail), (5) supporting successful re-integration into the community after they were released.
I’m not going to go into all of the details here but I wanted to just highlight a few of them. Improving school success & extracurricular involvement is one we’ll look at a little more. We talked about things like “enhance family services & wrap-around supports for at-risk youth,” and “becoming a trauma-informed community.” This has to do with an approach to understanding adverse childhood experiences and how that impacts brain development, and how the community can respond differently so people can be in a much better situation and can lead to much better results for everyone by recognizing the impact of trauma and how to respond to it. We also had issues about improving job success and minimizing substance abuse.
This one was a real key area. For minimizing incarceration, one of the objectives is to expand and improve alternatives to incarceration, such as sentencing to service projects, or community service efforts, or drug courts that can lead to treatments rather than incarceration. We also recognized that part of why the incarceration rates are high is sometimes due to the incentives or practices in either the police or the court system, that can lead to inappropriate incarceration. That if you step back and say “is this what’s best for the city or the county or the state” the answer would be no. But there are incentives, often financial, in place that might be rewarding those. We want to very thoughtful about removing those incentive systems or creating incentive systems that lead to the greater community good.
Another specific topic is that many people who are incarcerated have mental illness. Since prisons are really designed to punish people, people who break the rules (and people with mental illnesses often break a lot of rules) this can lead to a really sad and very unjust and tragic pathways for people that is very expensive for the community as well. Looking at reforming bail practices and pre-trial practices, which often contribute to high rates of incarceration with very little benefit to the society. It’s just, again, ways of making adjustments in the systems. Providing support for Parole and probation compliance, because as we saw, more than half the people are being incarcerated because they’re violating parole and probation compliance. In many cases, not because they’re dangerous, just because their life situations are such that they’re not successful in the requirements that they need, and so they end up back in jail which doesn’t really benefit anyone. Also, expanding the use of restorative justice practices.
I’m not going to go into all of these, but these are another similar set of objectives for using incarceration to enable future success. Things like minimizing punitive actions for people with mental illness, and improving inter-agency & inter-jurisdictional collaboration.
This involves education and employment preparation plus programming, supporting entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, helping increase and improve affordable housing and such.
In order to do this, the communities will focus on strengthening the Restore Hope coalition and community capacity, collaborate to improve success in winning grants. We believe that by everyone working together, there can be a much higher social return on investment which should make it easier to attract funders. Also to adopt innovative social finance practice, such as things like social impact bonds that might be a source of resources. The governor, from the beginning, emphasized faith communities as having an important role, so we specifically have an objective to engage and train faith communities. Develop effective communication, education, and media practices. Lastly, leverage technology for community support coordination and case management. We’ll be looking at a couple examples of the technology infrastructure that will help make all of these other things more possible.
We borrowed from the concept in Google Maps of Zoomability. In Google Maps, most people aren’t overwhelmed because they can zoom out or zoom in, but they’re never seeing a single big spiral bound map like in the 1980s.
Each one of these pluses gives you something you can zoom in on. If we look at improving school success & extracurricular involvement, we can click and zoom in.
We still can see the blue, like the interstate highways. This next level has the secondary highways, things like improve early childhood education and development, or expand vocational/technical education. These are each areas that you can have more detail behind. This lets us zoom back up to the top.
We can pick another topic like expand & improve alternatives to incarceration and zoom in. Here we can see some of those drug diversion programs, motivational interviewing, community service, and ways that those can be improved to be most effective.
So in the InsightVision software, which is our strategy management platform, these strategy maps become even more interactive. You not only can zoom in and zoom out, but you can click on any of the objectives and it will take you into what we call an objective presentation view.
This is an interactive screen that can explain more about that objective and who’s the lead advocate. We can have a customized set of tabs here with different information, that allows the different stakeholders to share and work through where they are today, where they want to be, what it’ll take to get there, and what’s currently going on. We also link to a wiki. You’re probably familiar with Wikipedia. This is using a very similar platform to put a wide variety of resources related to a topic, like restorative justice, and make them available to people. This makes it so those that may not be very knowledgeable about any one of these topics, whether bail practices, or motivational interviewing, or restorative justice, can learn about them. These can be built out with examples of where these are in place, the tools, and ultimately we hope this can be a shared set of tool kits and templates much like we’ve developed for dealing with the opioid crisis.
So as you develop these strategy maps, the restore hope leaders can then talk with different community partners and say “what role might you play in supporting any of these objectives? Do you have other suggestions or ideas or resources that can be used to advance any of these areas?” Then you can find out who else wants to be a part of that effort. Instead of each organization just doing its own thing, they can begin to work as teammates on this overall strategy.
They can suggest ideas and improvements, and it can really streamline communication and development of ideas. It becomes the framework then for the measurement system, which we really haven’t deployed yet for restore hope, but we expect to do that in the coming year.
So once you have that framework in place for addressing these many different aspects that impact incarceration and recidivism, the question becomes “where do you get the resources?” and we highly recommend that we tap into the resources in the community. Typically, even if the community agrees on an outcome and measures, they’re all working separately as we showed before, they’re all measuring their own things. Each program, when they do their annual report, they can show their success – that they accomplished all this great work. But together, they’re not achieving the outcome. The strategy map, as we create this framework of different driver objectives that are being measured, allows them to work together to impact something that they can’t do by themselves. Then we look at who else in the community can be brought in to assist and support those efforts, though they might not currently be very involved.
We refer to assists because we think that people can related to that in sports, and a good way to think about that is to realize that Michael Jordan, in his amazing career, scored a little over 32,000 points. But in the same era, another guy scored almost 37,000 points. That was Karl Malone. Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz had something that made the difference – he had John Stockton on his team.
For 9 years, John Stockton led the NBA in assists. In his career, he has more than 3,000 more assists than the #2 all-time assist provider in basketball. Because he could pass the ball to Karl Malone at just the right time, the mailman could deliver.
We use these little red arrows to say “these are the community John Stocktons.” The faith communities, the colleges, the volunteers that might pitch in to support efforts to help achieve greater success. So that’s the model we’re using in Restore Hope.
We’ll show some examples of that, but it’s also key here that in order to coordinate all these small little efforts, you need information technology. Just like Uber or AirBnB allow people to harness lots of different small efforts of someone renting out a room in their house or giving a ride, and turn that into a very valuable enterprise, we want to tap into all those little efforts and goodwill and volunteer moments and turn them into something that can address the challenges of incarceration and recidivism and foster care system that needs a lot of help.
So that’s really focusing on mutually reinforcing activities that are enabled by these other conditions of collective impact.
Now to accomplish that, we showed briefly that InsightVision software can support strategy management. But there’s also the need to have success plans for each individual. This is a second layer of technology that we think is key to reducing incarceration and recidivism and helping people who are at risk, or kids who have been in the foster care system.
In Arkansas, we’re working with a technology platform called Good Grid. The Good Grid case management system addresses this whole wide variety of issues from legal aid, housing, hunger relief, child welfare, healthcare, job training, to transportation around individual success plans. It allows providers of these services to collaborate much more efficiently, to really set people up for success. There’s a lot of valuable capabilities here that are part of the Restore Hope approach, and part of what we believe is key to helping the individuals who might otherwise spend a lot of their lives in jail to become productive citizens and contribute to their communities.
One of the great John Stocktons, or a team of John Stocktons, in Arkansas is coming from Harding University. They have become big supporters of Restore Hope Arkansas. Here you can see a student being trained on how to use good grid, and how to gather information from the many different nonprofit organizations and service providers that can help people who are incarcerated across the state. You can imagine, that’s a lot of information to gather and to validate. They must gather: who they serve, what their geography is, their language support, the contact person, and so on. So the college stepped up, and offered over 1,000 students that would each volunteer at least 90 minutes to go through to make calls and gather information so they could populate Good Grid. This meant that coordinators had those resources at their fingertips, for people who were in prison, about to be released, or had recently been released, so that they could make the most of the community resources that are there to help them. Think about that. A huge task, no budget to speak of, and they’re tapping in to a university where thousands of students will help. This is just one of the many ways that Harding University will be stepping up to help, and there are other ways that different universities or even high schools can contribute.
A second tool, and this is similar to Good Grid in some ways (this is one that we’ve worked with in other states), is called MPOWR. MPOWR is a cloud-based technology solution that plays a similar role, where you have a centralized case management & resource tracking & referral management, all done within full regulatory compliance of HIPPA and privacy laws. This has been used successfully with law enforcement, parole and probation officers, social service agencies, to support ex-offenders with reduced recidivism rates and crime, decreased tax burden and jail stays. MPOWR and Good Grid are two examples of alternatives to play that individual level collaboration. The InsightVision software that we looked at earlier, with the interactive strategy maps and scorecards, is helpful at the higher community level.
Here’s another screenshot of MPOWR’s online tool, being able to go in and set up meetings and track information and goals, all very rule-based with appropriate privacy and security.
So that gives you an overview. We’re still early in this journey, but I believe we are charting a course that has a lot of promise to be an example of many different stakeholders working together in a collaborative way to achieve the vision of Restore Hope Arkansas.