June 10, 2010
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
The Florida inmate recidivism rate has been decreasing steadily according to the first annual Florida Prison Recidivism Study. Recidivism rates dropped a little more than 1% from 2003 to 2005. Florida’s recidivism rate is 32.7%
“This report verifies what we’ve known all along and why re-entry is an important component in keeping our communities safe,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil. “We’re excited because this decrease occurred before the Department really started focusing on re-entry, before it was part of the Department’s mission.”
The study confirms the link between re-entry programming and public safety. A 1% drop in the recidivism rate results in approximately 400 fewer inmates being admitted over a 3 year period at a cost of $20,000 per year per inmate.
The report studied inmates released from prison from 2001 to 2005 and whether or not they returned to prison by 2008. It found inmates with higher tested education levels and inmates who complete programs while in prison are less likely to commit a crime upon release from prison.
Most inmates (88%) are eventually released from prison and providing them with basic educational and vocational programming and treatment means our communities will be safer when these inmates are released.
Other factors that influence recidivism include age at release, prior prison commitments and inmate behavior while in prison.
The Department’s goal is to reduce recidivism from 32% to 20% by 2014.
“This first report provides a starting point from which to measure and will show us how we are doing towards reaching our goal,” said Secretary McNeil.
The recidivism rate is defined as returning to a Florida prison within three years of release.
A copy of the Florida Prison Recidivism Study is available for you to read. For more information contact the Office of Public Affairs at (850) 488-0420.