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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Report LogoReturn on Investment for Correctional Education in Florida

  Based on a Study Conducted by
TaxWatch and the Center for Needs Assessment & Planning
("Costs-Consequences Analysis for Florida's Workforce Development Programs, 1997")

Overview

This excerpt discusses selected results of the Costs Consequences Analysis (CCA) model as developed by Florida TaxWatch (FTW) and the Center For Needs Assessment & Planning (CNAP), and adapted by the Florida Department of Corrections (DC). FTW and CNAP examined DC educational programs using the CCA model to study returns on public investment in job training and education programs conducted by the DC. The assessment in this correctional education study addressed the question, "How did the cost of educational inputs translate into earnings?"

Florida TaxWatch is a neutral 'government-watchdog' agency. This study provides data which indicate that the money invested in Correctional Education in the state of Florida has had a positive return on investment for Florida taxpayers. This 'return on investment' type of study is the highest level of evaluation and looked at the amount of money returned for every $1.00 invested in Correctional Education in Florida. If funds or resources are available, FTW and CNAP will update their study on a three-year basis.

Introduction

This excerpt discusses selected results of the Costs Consequences Analysis (CCA) model as developed by Florida TaxWatch (FTW) and the Center For Needs Assessment & Planning (CNAP), and adapted by the Florida Department of Corrections. The CCA model was developed during the past four years with the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security (FDLES) to examine:

  1. if a model for coarse-grain analysis of return-on-investment (see bottom of paragraph) could be applied to Job Partnership Training Act (JPTA) programs, and
  2. what initial CCA information could be used by the FDLES to make improvements to the JTPA programs.
FTW and CNAP (as specified in the contract with the FDLES) examined the department's educational programs using the CCA model developed for the FDLES to study returns to public investment in job training and education programs conducted by the department in order to test the model's generalizability. Assumptions stated in the FDLES report by FTW and CNAP were used or modified to examine the results of the department's Correctional Education programs in terms of the CCA model (these are noted in the attached addendum to the assumptions of the initial FDLES report). The 'coarse-grain' assessment in this correctional education study addressed the question, "How did the cost of educational inputs translate into earnings?"

Summary of Return on Investment

The two tables that follow provide the 1st and 2nd year returns on investment by program area. The authors of the overall FTW and CNAP study characterize the ratio returned in the CCA model as a dollar returned for a dollar of investment. Thus, the "combined" CCA ratio of 1.66 for the first follow-up year should be interpreted as a $1.66 return for every $1.00 invested. Returns can be considered positive only if the resulting CCA ratio is greater than 1.0. By this marker, all sub groups of Correctional Education completers for FY 1993-94 had positive returns on investment ratios. Note that the highest return was for Correctional Education non-special education "Academic" completers, with the next highest return being for non-special education "High Tech" completers.

Even though lower than the other groups, the return on investment for the special education completers was greater than 1.0, and thus also positive in nature. After the second year, the CCA indicated that every dollar of public investment in correctional education returned $3.20 (noting that the major cost savings identified was the low number of program completers reincarcerated two years after their participation). The highest return was again enjoyed by non-special education academic completers with $3.53 returned per $1.00 of public investment. The special education recipients also produced returns far in excess of $1.00 for the two-year period of the CCA analysis.

In closing, the original study was conducted by Florida TaxWatch and CNAP. This excerpt provides data which indicate that the money invested in Correctional Education in the state of Florida has had a positive return on investment for Florida taxpayers. This study presented evidence that the CCA model is generalizable to programs outside the FDLES with minor modifications. It is the hope of FTW and CNAP that the department will take the CCA model and the information it can provide to improve upon the excellent work they currently are doing for the residents of Florida. Additionally, FTW and CNAP believe that further research should be conducted to determine its application in federal training programs as well as those in private industry.

For further information on the overall TaxWatch/CNAP study or questions about the CCA model, please contact Dr. Neil Crispo at (850) 222-5052, ext 20; or E-mail at ncrispo@floridataxwatch.org.

Addendum to the Assumptions of the Initial FDLES Report

Primary revisions to the original analyses regarding the department's programs include the removal of both the Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diverse Enterprises (PRIDE) program (since organizational management responsibilities do not fall under the department) and the use of a non-participant comparison group (bringing the department's analysis model in parallel with the model applied to FDLES programs. While both TaxWatch and CNAP agree with the revisions made to the analysis model, several considerations must be taken when making decisions based on the department's data:

  1. Data utilized in the department's addendum were compiled and analyzed by the department's staff with data accessibility beyond that of Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP), TaxWatch, and CNAP at the time of the 1997 report.

  2. The basic elements of the Pre-Post analysis model developed by FDLES, TaxWatch, and Learning Systems Institute (LSI) are applied in the department's addendum.

  3. The department's addendum does not include program non-completers (data that were not available for the 1997 report) thus removing those who enrolled for the department's program but did not complete. This technique of only including the analysis for those who have completed all elements of an development program is uniquely applied to this addendum and makes conclusions drawn from the addendum not comparable to those of other programs in the 1997 report. (The database utilized for the 1997 report did not designate completers from enrollees in the participants in FDLES nor DOE workforce development programs.).

While these considerations do not negate the utility of results specified in the department's addendum, the results should be taken in consideration with the findings, recommendations, and limitations of the initial 1997 report to FDLES.

Tables:
Corrections 93-94 CCA 1st Year Follow-up
Corrections 93-94 CCA 2nd Year Follow-up


Prepared by:
Florida Department of Corrections
Bureau of Research and Data Analysis
Michael W. Moore, Secretary
June 1999