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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Executive Summary

Defining Recidivism

For this report, recidivism is defined as a return to prison. The return to prison may be a result of a new conviction or a violation of post-prison supervision.  The follow-up periods (typically reported as three years) are calculated from prison release date to the date of readmission to prison.

Recidivism Rates Over Time

This graph shows recidivism rates over time. 2005 - 33.3%; 2006 - 32.5%; 2007 - 30.5%; 2008 - 27.6%; 2009 - 26.3%.

Changing Recidivism Rates

The last three-year release cohorts have shown slight decreases in three-year recidivism rates. These decreases are shown below:

  • Inmates released in 2007 who returned to prison within three years → 30.5% recidivism rate
  • Inmates released in 2008 who returned to prison within three years → 27.6% recidivism rate
  • Inmates released in 2009 who returned to prison within three years → 26.3% recidivism rate

Factors to be Considered

For 2005-2012 releases, some factors that influence an inmate's likelihood of recidivism include:

  • Number of prior prison commitments
    • More Priors → Higher Likelihood of Recidivating
  • Whether the inmate has a supervision term after release
    • Supervised → Higher Likelihood of Recidivating
  • The inmate’s tested education level
    • Higher Grade Level → Lower Likelihood of Recidivating
  • The inmate’s behavior while in prison (for male inmates only)
    •  More Disciplinary Reports → Higher Likelihood of Recidivating
  • The inmate’s age at first offense
    •  Younger → Higher Likelihood of Recidivating
  • The inmate-reported drug screening score
    •  Higher scores → Higher Likelihood of Recidivating
  • The inmate’s ethnicity
    •  Hispanic → Lower Likelihood of Recidivating
  • The inmate’s Custody Level upon Release
    •  Low → Lower Likelihood of Recidivating