February 27, 2012
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The Florida Department of Corrections (DC), in partnership with the Florida State University (FSU) Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research (Center), has been awarded a $598,982 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a three-year study of the success rates of three inmate programs.
Specifically, the study will determine the impact of prison substance abuse treatment, work release and post-release community supervision on inmates by evaluating how each program affects the inmates’ subsequent employment and ability to stay out of prison. A cost-benefit analysis will also be done on each program as part of the study. Data collected from 2000-2008 will be used, allowing for adequate follow-up time to evaluate subsequent recidivism.
“When these studies are complete, we’ll know not only whether our substance abuse treatment and other programs are helping to keep inmates from reoffending, but we’ll also know how much it is costing us or saving us to implement these programs, which will help us make more informed policy decisions going forward,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker.
The Center is the research arm of FSU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which is one of the oldest criminology programs in the United States, and is currently ranked number one in the country for faculty research publications and citations. The Center has a proven track record of conducting quality research with practical, policy and theoretical implications. The DC’s Bureau of Research and Data Analysis is the highly-respected unit of the Department that informs the public, administrators, and policy-makers about the inmate population. They have won numerous Davis Productivity Awards for increasing the efficiency of state government.
David Ensley, the DC’s Chief of Research and Data Analysis and the Co- Principal Investigator for the grant, notes that the grant will also enhance the partnership between criminal justice researchers and practitioners.
"This grant will allow even greater collaboration between the University and the Department, allowing each of us to draw upon the other's perspective, experience, and expertise," said Ensley.
Dr. William D. Bales, FSU’s Co-Principal Investigator on this project, believes the results will have important policy implications.
“We are excited about partnering with the Department of Corrections to bring together their correctional expertise with our research talents to produce results that will provide scientifically based empirical evidence which will inform the entire field of corrections and the Department's future policy decisions regarding these inmate programs,” said Bales.
For more information, contact David Ensley, Chief of the Bureau of Research and Data Analysis at the Florida Department of Corrections at 850-717-3645, or Dr. William D. Bales, Professor at FSU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at 850-644-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.