News

U.S. Department of Justice Awards Three Year Contract to Associate Professor Bill Bales, Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research and the Florida Department of Corrections

September 30, 2011

Filed Under: Faculty, Research, Students

The project entitled Building and Enhancing Criminal Justice Research-Practitioner Partnerships furthers the long-standing and productive partnership between the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.

This three-year grant establishes a formal researcher-practitioner partnership by placing two criminology doctoral students in the DOC to collaborate on three major research projects which will result in four final reports. These three research projects are timely and critically important to correctional administrators and policymakers as budgets for programs and agencies are under the microscope for accountability and cost-effectiveness.

Project #1: Assessing the Post-Release Impact of Prison-Based Substance Abuse Treatment on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment

Project #1 will empirically assess the post-release impact of prison-based substance abuse treatment on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. In 2006, the DOC initiated an experimental design in which more than 100,000 incoming inmates (for a three-year period) were provided the opportunity to participate in the study. If consent was obtained, inmates were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group in the event they were identified as having a substance abuse problem. This project will address several research questions including identifying differential effects of substance abuse based on specific modalities, treatment duration, co-occurring needs, and sub-groupings of offenders. The analyses will compare the outcomes across groups using t-test mean comparisons and Survival Analysis. The research questions will be addressed using alternative methodologies (to random assignment): logistic regression, propensity score matching, and precision matching.

Project #2: Assessing the Post-Release Impact of Work Release Programs on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment

Project #2 will empirically assess the post-release impact of transitioning inmates from secure facilities to work release centers on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. The sample will include all inmates classified as “community” custody at the time of their release between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2009 (n=54,096). The analysis will examine the effect of work release on recidivism using survival analysis to examine the probability of recidivism and the time to failure across the work release and non-work release cases. Second, logistic regression will be used to estimate the effect of work release on the likelihood of recidivism and employment within one-, two-, and three-years post release. Also, this study will examine the cost-benefits associated with work release.

Project #3: Assessing the Impact of Post-Release Supervision on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment

Project #3 will empirically assess the impact of community supervision of former inmates on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. The sample for this study will include 256,253 inmates released between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2009. The analysis will examine the effect of supervision on the outcome variables using survival analysis to examine the probability of recidivism and the time to failure across the supervision types. Second, logistic regression will be used to estimate the impact of the type of supervision on the likelihood of recidivism, employment, and re-imprisonment within one-, two-, and three-years post release. Finally, this study will examine the cost-benefits associated with the various types of post-release supervision.

Four reports will be produced that will provide empirical evidence documenting the post-release impact of: prison-based drug treatment, work release, and types of supervision, as well as the cost-benefits of these programs. In addition, the various statistical methodologies utilized is this research will inform the research community of the differences, if any, of examining research questions using four methodologies: random assignment, logistic regression, propensity score matching, and precision matching. Lastly, the substance abuse treatment study will yield a separate report that details the entire process of designing and implementing experimental design research in a correctional setting by a large state correctional agency.

FSU Project Team:

Principal Investigator:
William Bales, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Co-Principal Investigator:
Thomas Blomberg, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Researchers:
Two Doctoral Students, To Be Named,
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice