Monday, October 22, 2007

Study of Florida's Faith-Based Prison Program Released

Last week, the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center released a report on Florida's faith-based prison rehabilitation program titled Evaluation of Florida's Faith- and Character-Based Institutions. The report concluded:
Staff, inmates, and volunteers overwhelmingly find value in the FCBI model and believe that it is achieving its goals of changing inmate behaviors, preparing inmates for successful reentry, and ultimately reducing recidivism. Respondents feel that, in particular, the FCBI experience helps promote family reunification and employment prospects upon release, while also improving the prison environment for inmates, volunteers, and staff.

... At six months after release, male FCBI inmates have lower reincarceration rates than a matched comparison group of inmates housed in general population FDOC facilities.... [However] the differences between the two male groups are not statistically significant at twelve months post-release, nor are the differences between female FCBI participants and their matched comparisons at either six or twelve months after release.... [C]orrections officials may ... wish to replicate the impact analysis ... in a year’s time, when the sample sizes are more likely to yield results in which they can have increased confidence.
The Report also concluded: "The FCBI model is carefully administered to avoid many of the conflicts with the principle of church-state separation that have led to challenges of other faith-based prison programs."