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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Conclusion and Related Reports

II. Consistent with other large studies, this report finds that certain factors influence recidivism rates.

This document demonstrates how certain inmate characteristics influence recidivism rates, some tending to lower and others tending to raise reoffense and reimprisonment rates. Similar patterns appear in large-scale studies of state prison inmates. Table 11 below shows these patterns for inmate characteristics analyzed by the two large BJS studies and this study by the Department. All three studies find that reoffense (reconviction) rates are higher for inmates who are male, black, and younger. The two studies that examined education (or academic skill) levels found that lower levels are related to higher recidivism rates.

For some factors, the range of difference between the high and low ends of these measures is similar across the studies. For example, in all three studies (excluding the subsamples), female inmates reoffend at 7 to 8 percentage points lower than males. In addition, the reoffense rates of inmates over age 44 at release (the highest category) are about 22 percentage points lower than inmates aged 18 to 24 (the lowest category). For other factors (race and education), the ranges are not similar between the studies, but the factors influence reoffending in the same directions.

Table 11. Three-year Reoffense Rates by Selected Factors in Three Large Studies of State Prison Inmates
Study Author / Cohort Bureau of Justice Statistics Florida Department of Corrections
Entire Cohort Florida Subsample Entire Cohort
Release Period 1983* 1994** 1983 1994 1995 - 2001
Jurisdictions Covered Multi-State Florida  
Gender: Male 47.30% 47.6% 45.7% 44.6% 40.5%
Female 38.7% 39.9% 32.4% 45.6% 33.3%
Race: White 44.2% 43.3% 39.8% 40.8% 31.7%
Black 49.9% 51.1% 51.9% 47.7% 45.7%
Release Age: 18-24 51.2% 52.0% 53.0% 53.7% 45.4%
25-29 48.9% 50.1% 43.5% 48.2% 40.9%
30-34 47.9% 48.8% 43.3% 42.1% 42.1%
35-39 40.8% 46.3% 31.0% 47.3% 39.5%
40-44 36.1% 38.0% 32.6% 34.6% 35.5%
Over 44 28.6% 29.7% 31.4% 22.8% 23.3%
Education Grade: Under 9th 46.0% NA 53.3% NA 42.5%
9th 12th 46.9% 50.6% 36.2%
H.S. Graduate 39.8% 35.8% 30.1%
Higher 36.1% 28.2% NA
Notes:
* From 11 States including Florida.
** From 14 States including Florida.