Florida Department of Corrections Recidivism Report:
2013 Florida Prison Recidivism Study
The Florida Prison Recidivism Report is produced annually by the Bureau of Research and Data Analysis within the Florida Department of Corrections. The annual study examines the recidivism rate of Florida's released inmate population. While the use of recidivism as a performance indicator of the state's rehabilitative efforts can be debated, the analysis itself is of significant public importance. Given that 87% of inmates housed in Florida prisons today will one day be released back into our communities, those responsible for the state’s planning and budgeting need to know the likelihood that an inmate who is released today will one day return to Florida’s prison system. More importantly, for the public and those charged with ensuring public safety, the state’s recidivism rate is an important measure of criminal activity produced by released prisoners.
When discussing recidivism rates, the factors that influence recidivism must be considered. For example, recidivism rates vary across age groups, racial/ethnic groups, and gender. To determine where to devote scarce correctional and community resources, we must identify which groups are most likely to fail when they are released from Florida’s prisons and which groups are likely to successfully re-enter society.
This study finds that the factors that influence Florida’s recidivism rate are generally consistent with existing research. A report by the Pew Center on the States shows the overall recidivism rate (return to prison for any reason within three years of release) for releases from 33 states participating in the study was approximately 43%. 1A recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics of multiple states reports an overall recidivism rate of nearly 50%.2
It must be noted that, unlike most states, Florida paroles very few inmates and only about one third of released inmates have any supervision at all following their release. Those who are supervised following release recidivate at higher rates than released inmates without supervision due in part to this increased supervision and required adherence to the conditions of supervision. Since fewer of Florida's released inmates are supervised, Florida’s recidivism rate may appear lower than that of other states. It is not surprising that California, for example, releases the majority of their inmates to supervision and their recidivism rate is 61.0% (FY 08-09 releases).3
1Pew Center on the States, State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons (Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, April 2011) www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2011/Pew_State_of_Recidivism.pdf
2United States. U.S. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010. By Matthew R. Durose, Alexia D. Cooper, Ph.D., and Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D. Washington D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rprts05p0510.pdf
3"2013 Outcome Evaluation Report." California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
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