Recidivism—the reoffending and reimprisonment—of released state prison inmates is an important policy issue because:
To address the issue properly, researchers must use the best data available and the most appropriate statistical tools to:
This report is designed to help readers understand how recidivism data is collected and analyzed so they can obtain and use inmate recidivism statistics appropriately. The document measures recidivism rates for inmates released from Department facilities and reports the effects on those rates of factors that are readily measurable from Department data sources at the time an inmate is released. The document also reports a methodology for analyzing how certain inmate characteristics influence recidivism rates. This report's findings should guide evaluations by the Department and others that use inmate recidivism rates as performance measures regarding Florida.