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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Conclusion and Related Reports

I. The reoffense and reimprisonment rates reported here are consistent with results from large-scale, national studies of state prison inmate recidivism.

Inmates released from state prisons have relatively stable recidivism rates—especially for reoffending—over time and across jurisdictions. Similar rates can be expected to appear in any analysis of large samples of released state prison inmates as Table 10 below shows. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) analyzed state prison inmates released in 1983 and 1994. BJS reports that the 3-year reconviction rates for prison inmates released from 11 states were not statistically different: 46.8% for 1983 releases, and 46.9% for 1994 releases.

Recidivism rates are not directly comparable across studies that differ in sources and methods as much as this study does from the two Justice Department studies. For example, the BJS rates should be somewhat higher than rates found in this study because BJS includes new out-of-state convictions (including Federal) and convictions resulting in local jail sentences, which Florida does not. Yet it is important to note that high quality, large-scale studies report similar rate estimates.

Studies that analyze recidivism rates of Florida state prison inmates should find rates similar to those reported here for comparable cohorts, recidivism measures, and follow-up periods. Those that find substantially different rates should explain why rates deviate substantially from these reported rates.

Table 10. Three-year Recidivism Rates from Large Studies of State Prison Inmates
Study Author / Cohort Bureau of Justice Statistics Florida Department of Corrections
Entire Cohort Florida Subsample Early Year Subsample Entire Cohort
Release Period 1983* 1994** 1983 1994 FY 95 - 96 1995 - 2001
Jurisdictions Covered Multi-State Florida
Reoffense (reconviction):
Rate Estimates 46.8 % 46.9 % 45.0 % 44.7 % 44.9 % 39.9 %
Releases 108,580 260,226 13,105 21,408 12,144 88,678
Reimprisonment (for new offense):
Rate Estimates *** 25.4 % *** 26.9 % 26.1 % 25.7 %
Releases *** 254,720 *** 21,408 12,144 88,678
Notes:
* From 11 States including Florida.
** From 14 States including Florida.
*** The reincarceration rate reported by BJS for 1983 releases is not comparable because it includes returns to local jails.