Launch of a Social Impact Bond to support Médecins du Monde jail diversion programme for homeless people in Marseille

October 20, 2021
We are delighted to announce the launch of the AiLSi social impact bond. Operated by Médecins du Monde, this project aims to offer homeless people suffering from severe mental illness and facing justice an alternative to imprisonment through housing and intensive care. Structured by KOIS, this social impact bond is the largest in terms of amount ever launched in France. It is invested by the European Investment Fund (EIF), BNP Paribas, Groupe Caisse des Dépôts and INCO, with outcome funding from the French government.

Of the ~72,000 people held in prisons in France, 21% suffer from psychotic disorders and 7% from schizophrenia. 14% also said they did not have an accommodation solution when being released. In addition, 61% of those released following an imprisonment sentence are sentenced again within 5 years.

This vicious cycle affects especially the homeless population suffering from severe mental illness. Such situations come with a high personal cost for the person, and high societal costs.

AiLSi: a jail diversion programme with a holistic approach

The “AiLSi” project is an initiative led by Médecins du Monde. The project takes inspiration in the Mental Health Courts launched in the US and Canada and in the “Un Chez Soi d’Abord” programme in France. The programme aims to offer a jail diversion programme in Marseille based on an innovative holistic approach. A strong collaboration between the judicial and health sectors enables this approach. Furthermore, research through a randomized control test backs the programme.

The programme will identify target beneficiaries in jails just before immediate trial. It will then offer them, in agreement with the local judge, an alternative to imprisonment. As part of the programme, each will have access to a personal flat, following the “housing first” methodology. They will also receive intensive outpatient care, all of this for a period of 24 months.

The Social Impact Bond

Mandated by Médecins du Monde, KOIS lead the structuring of the Social Impact Bond that will finance the AiLSi project for a period of 5 years.

The aim of the programme in the scope of the bond is to reduce the re-incarceration rate of the target population in comparison to a control group. The bond will also measure the actual spendings in terms of health and prison and compare them between the two groups.

Finally an evaluator will lead and publish a full research after the end of the programme.

Read the full press release here.

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