About the program
On TRACC (Transition Reintegration and Community Connection) supported parolees to successfully reintegrate into the community following their release from prison. On TRACC provided participating parolees with enhanced support and referral services for up to 12 months following their release. It complemented existing support services for parolees provided by Corrective Services NSW.
It was expected that On TRACC would work with up to 3,900 parolees over five years. The program was jointly delivered by Australian Community Support Organisation (ACSO) and arbias.
Where we are now
Following a program performance review for the first group of individuals who participated, On TRACC terminated by mutual agreement in January 2019. The review did not find statistically significant difference in the rate of re-incarceration between On TRACC participants and those supported through Corrective Services NSW existing services.
The SII approach allows evidence of what works to be collected and enables government to direct resources into areas where they can have the biggest impact. Lessons learnt have been explored to assist in future SII activities.
Timely data supports service providers to refine a program to participant needs. Use of leading indicators should be explored when there is a lag in outcomes data.
The On TRACC evaluation found that using court data to measure re-offending introduced a lag of up to four months in reporting outcomes, as sufficient time was needed for new offenses to be finalised in court. This meant that program managers did not have access to timely data which may have assisted them in refining the program. Leading indicators may be identified and used in such situations to support informed decision making.
Stakeholders also expressed different views on the use of only one binary outcome measure for payment purposes as, while simple to use and easy to interpret, it may not capture other social and economic benefits of the intervention. On TRACC displayed that additional KPIs could be used to supplement payment metrics and in program evaluations to capture different aspects of the program given the typically complex needs of parolees.
Despite challenges, On TRACC demonstrated it is possible for different sectors to collaborate and robustly test the effectiveness of interventions in complex areas of social policy. Open communication and shared commitment to the program’s success resulted in strong working relationships.