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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
February 4, 2013
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Department of Corrections Announces Drop in Inmate Recidivism Rates

Partnering for Fewer Crimes, Less Victims, Safer Communities

TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Corrections is proudly announcing a drop in recidivism rates for Florida prisons, reaching a low of 27.6 percent.

Recidivism is defined as individuals who return to prison within three years of their release. Given that 87% of inmates housed in Florida prisons today will one day be released back into our communities, state’s recidivism rate is an important measure of criminal activity committed by released prisoners.

Governor Rick Scott said “The safety of Florida families is critical for our state to grow jobs and provide our children with more opportunities to pursue the American Dream. Over the past five years, individuals returning to prison have cost taxpayers nearly $2 billion – and the decrease of recidivism rates to 27.6 percent is much welcomed news. By reducing the recidivism rate, taxpayers have realized a savings of $44 million, and we’re reinvesting a portion of that savings by providing hardworking Corrections employees bonuses for their service in making our communities safer.”

“Reducing recidivism is a priority for the Department of Corrections and it is a clear indicator that we are heading in the right direction with our Transition from Prison to Community Initiative and re-entry efforts in general. The cost avoidance to the taxpayers of the State of Florida is significant when we can reduce the number of offenders returning to our institutions, and just as important, increasing the numbers of productive members of our communities” said Secretary Mike Crews. “Also, when former inmates are not committing more crimes, the number of victims is reduced.”

For inmates released in 2003, the recidivism rate was at 33 percent and today that number has dropped to 27.6 percent for those inmates released through 2008. The inmate admission rate in fiscal year 2007-08 was at 41,054 inmates. By the fiscal year 2011-12, the rate of admission had dropped to 32,279. A one percent reduction in recidivism equates to a cost avoidance of nearly $19 million over five years.

“Many of the youth who enter the juvenile justice system ultimately end up serving time in the adult system as well,” said Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Secretary Wansley Walters. “Fortunately, we know there are factors that make that transition more likely, such as lack of support in the home and mental health issues, and we are working to establish a safety net structure to help youth succeed despite these challenges. Through our Roadmap to System Excellence, DJJ is shifting resources to provide youth with needed services after their release from a residential facility to decrease their chances of returning to us and ever getting involved in the adult system.”

“There are a number of reasons Florida is seeing this drop. The hard work of law enforcement agencies across the state, volunteers in our prisons, different organizations that assist inmates as they go back to their communities, and the Department’s education and vocational programs for inmates who are in prison,” said Secretary Crews. “Reduced recidivism is good for all Floridians and one reduction that I don’t think anyone will mind making.”

For more information on the Department’s Re-Entry efforts, visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us.

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As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 120,000 offenders in the community.

Partnering for Fewer Crimes, Less Victims, Safer Communities. Visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.