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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Three Prison Release Cohorts

There are three types of private prisons in Florida that serve unique populations: adult male, adult female and youthful offender male facilities. Following the approach of Farabee and Knight, the analysis conducted for this study examines the question of whether differences in recidivism rates exist across privately and publicly operated prison within each of these three offender types. Table 2 depicts the private prisons operated for each the three offender types and the total and average annual releases from private prisons during the study period. All releases beginning with the month the private inmate was released within each of the three offender types were selected. The adult male cohort includes all men released beginning in August 1995, when Moore Haven Correctional Facility released the first male inmate.21 The adult female cohort includes all women released beginning in May 1995, when Gadsden Correctional Facility released the first adult female inmate. The youthful offender male cohort includes releases from May 1997 when the first offender was released from the Lake City Correctional Facility, the only private facility designated as a male youthful offender institution.

Table 2: Private Prisons Operating in Florida*
Population Served Facility Name Year
Opened
Security
Level
Population on June 30, 2003

Total Releases through June 30, 2003 **

Average Annual Releases***
Adult Male Bay C.F. 1995 Medium
746
2,803
350
Adult Male Moore Haven C.F. 1995 Medium
751
3,106
388
Adult Male South Bay C.F. 1997 Close
1,316
1,243
207
Sub Total      
2,813
7,152
945
Adult Female Gadsden C.F. 1995 Medium
983
3,619
452
Youthful Offender Male Lake City C.F. 1997 Close
349
841
140
Total      
4,145
11,612
1,537
* Release data count only the subset that are first permanent releases and, therefore, appropriate for recidivism analysis.
** Permanent releases directly from facility.
*** Based on direct releases from facility per full year of operation.

Table 3 displays the number of inmate releases included in each of the three offender types for each of the six treatment definitions. Note that the treatment groups may be larger than the direct releases reported in Table 2 due to the way each analysis group is defined.

Table 3: Number of Releases in Cohorts by Offender Type and Treatment Definition
Analysis
Group
Adult Males Adult Females Youthful Offender
Males
Treatment Control Treatment Control Treatment Control
A1
3,553
48,744
1,866
3,631
450
3,633
A2
2,793
38,583
1,332
2,702
376
3,023
B1
2,993
58,342
640
4,714
396
3,896
B2
3,176
65,483
1,447
5,066
631
4,203
B3
3,306
66,199
1,133
5,395
474
4,507
C1
3,562
71,276
1,712
6,047
439
4,189

This research does not comparatively evaluate recidivism rates from individual private prisons for three reasons. First, the focus of this research is not on the relative performance of individual prisons’ recidivism rates. Addressing that question properly would require data collection on facility characteristics and operational methods that are out of the scope of this study. Second, significant numbers of releases from the South Bay and Lake City facilities did not occur until FY1997-98, therefore, the number of cases for these facilities are too few to provide sufficiently reliable estimates for such comparisons. Third, these facilities are operated by more than one corporation and the Gadsden vendor has changed since it opened. Comparable data for facilities have not been collected on services provided, such as education, training, and treatment programs, which reduce recidivism rates according to some literature.22

Notes:
  1. The higher percentage of private prison releases among females reflects the higher percentage of total female beds in private prison. For example, on June 30, 2001, 21.0% of all female beds were private, while only 4.4% of all male beds were private.Return to reference in text.

  2. For a review, see Gendreau et al. 1996. For an example, see Harer, 1995b.Return to reference in text.