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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Executive Summary

What this document contains is the result of a cooperative effort. Chaplaincy Services Administration provided a data entry tool to record the inmate attendance by name and DC number in specific categories of religious activities. Each institution submitted a monthly account of attendance at all of the sign-in activities by using a common data entry tool1. We called this the Chaplaincy Participation Report (hereafter referred to as CPR). The Senior Chaplain at each institution returned a monthly CPR. The charts contained in the following pages are derived from the CPR sent in by the institutional Chaplains.

Primary Conclusions

Though a three-month report is preliminary, some trends are indicated and supported by the figures generated from the institutional CPR.

  1. Inmates who attend religious services get fewer disciplinary reports than inmates who do not attend religious services do. This lowers the disciplinary report rate for the entire Department.
  2. Inmates who attend 10 or more religious activities per month receive disciplinary reports at a rate equal to one third that of inmates who do not attend any religious activities and at half the rate of those who attend one to three religious activities per month. This is a preliminary indication that those inmates who are more committed or sincere regarding their faith are less likely to participate in negative behavior.
  3. Religious services and activities are of interest to an average of 38.0% of the inmate population that are available for attending group activities. Considering that all religious programming is voluntary, this is an astounding rate of participation.
  4. Institutions that have a chaplain to inmate ratio of one to 500 (or less) have a higher participation rate than institutions where the ratio of inmates to chaplain is higher. This finding is an indication that the greater the opportunity the Chaplain has to interact with the inmates the more the inmates are inclined to participate in religious programming.
  5. Institutions for youthful offenders or females have a higher participation rate than institutions for adult males. Youthful offenders are generally housed in units that concur with # 4 above.
  6. Religious programming not only is an essential element to control inmate idleness, it is a cost effective means in providing a safer, more manageable environment. This has proven to be an essential element of inmate rehabilitation.

1A form was developed using MSEXCEL and was later converted to an MSACCESS format.

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