2018 State Standard of Excellence

15. Repurpose for Results

Did the state or any of its agencies shift funds away from any practice, policy, or program which consistently failed to achieve desired outcomes?

Why is this important?
Repurposing funds from programs that fail to consistently achieve results to programs that consistently achieve results is a key strategy for state governments to improve their performance while building knowledge about what works.

Leading Example

Minnesota Outline


Multiple agencies

A 2014 Minnesota law (subdivision 7) requires the Minnesota Department of Human Services to use the Self-Support Index to monitor each county’s performance in assisting clients to become self-sufficient. Counties that meet performance targets receive a 2.5% bonus payment from the state, whereas counties that perform below the expected target must submit a performance improvement plan. In counties where “no improvement is shown by the end of the multiyear plan, the county’s or tribe’s allocation must be decreased by 2.5 percent” [256J.626(7)(a)(2)].

A 2016 Minnesota law (section 14, line 15.21) allows savings from reducing sentences for minor drug offenders to be applied to evidence-based drug and mental health treatments for those in prison and under supervised release. The evidence to support this law comes from the Department of Corrections’ own research which found (p. 26) that drug treatment reduces recidivism.

Promising Examples


Single agency

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections sets performance targets for its community corrections program. Providers that meet recidivism prevention goals receive a 1% increase in their rate while providers that fail to meet targets for two consecutive years can have their contracts terminated. In 2014–2015, the program’s recidivism rate dropped by 11.3%.