In the pages that follow, statistical information is provided on offenders in the custody of, or supervised by, the Florida Department of Corrections. This information is organized in two main sections: Inmates in Prison and Offenders Under Community Supervision. Each section is then divided into three distinct populations: Admissions (those who entered the Florida prison system from July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998), Inmate or Offender Population (those inmates in the Florida prison system or those on Community Supervision on June 30, 1998) and Releases (those released from the Florida prison system or Community Supervision from July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998). The Inmate Population section also includes a section on death row inmates and escapes. These statistics reflect demographic characteristics, as well as aspects of the offenders' criminal histories.
The Florida Department of Corrections has developed the following definition of violent crime to guide the way in which it categorizes crimes as violent and non-violent in the following statistical pages.
A crime is defined as violent if it involves actual physical harm or the threat of physical harm to a person, or the crime has a reasonable probability of causing unintended physical harm or physical threat of harm to a person.
Crimes are defined as violent from the statutory reference only. Therefore, a judgement has to be made based on this sometimes limited information whether the crime fits the DC definition. For example, if the crime is "shooting into a vehicle," it is not known if actual or the threat of physical harm occurred. But in this case we assume there is a reasonable probability that violence could have resulted.
The Florida Department of Corrections defines the recidivism rate as a rate at which inmates return to prison or a sentence to Community Supervision for a new crime occurring within 24 months of the offender's date of release from prison. The 24 month follow-up period is based on the time from prison release to when a new crime is committed, not from prison release to re-admission to prison or supervision. Technical violators who return to prison to complete their original sentence, or those who return to prison after release to serve time for a crime committed before their release from prison, or inmates released to other states are not included in examining recidivism rates. The DC selected 24 months as their follow-up period for two reasons. First, data indicate that most recidivists re-offend within two years of release. Second, in order to use recidivism as an outcome measure for various programs and interventions that take place while the inmate is incarcerated, it is necessary to keep the follow-up period relatively short. This is because the more time that elapses after release, the more difficult it is to attribute subsequent actions (e.g., whether the offender commits another crime) to events that happened while incarcerated.
Our most recent report tracked offenders released in FY 1988-89 to FY 1994-95, and followed their progress for the next two years. For offenders released from prison during FY 1994-95, the recidivism rate is 18.8%, which is a 20.9 point drop from the recidivism rate of offenders released in FY 1988-89 (39.7%). For more on this report, visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us/data.html or request a copy of the report by calling (850) 410-4482.
Statistical information from previous annual reports is available upon request from the Bureau of Research and Data Analysis, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500. Or call (850) 488-1801 or SunCom 278-1801, Fax (850) 922-2685. You may also call to obtain updated information or to request specific information or data concerning your particular area of interest.
Our website also has previous annual reports available, along with other documents and reports that may be of interest. Visit us at www.dc.state.fl.us/data.html.
For information on Recidivism, Sentencing Guidelines, Escapes, Releases, Surveys about Corrections, and this and other Annual Reports, visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us/data.html.