Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Faith-Based Program Eval in FL

I missed this announcement from NIC’s Corrections Community blog a couple of weeks ago on a recent evaluation of FL’s faith-based prison programming. If you haven’t seen the report yet, it’s a thorough read with a well-defined description of the program. I didn’t see any serious study of the effect of the programming on misconducts and resulting bedspace needs, which is one area that has been seen as an improvement in other studies, but maybe I missed it. The participants were self-selecting and couldn’t have had recent problems. Even with that, the recidivism rates between them and the control group weren’t significant, although there hasn’t been enough time to get a full picture yet. This, again, is a pretty common finding. This report could serve as a model for the analysis by other states that have similar programs or are planning them. Check it out.

A new report, Evaluation of Florida's Faith- and Character-Based Institutions, has been published by the Urban Institute. Florida runs two FCBIs - one correctional facility (Lawtey) for male inmates and another institution (Hillsborough) which offers the program for female inmates. According to the abstract of the report, "This research provides the first formal study of Florida’s FCBIs, and is guided by three research questions: (1) What are the FCBI objectives? (2) How are these objectives achieved? and (3) What are the FCBI outcomes?" This research will help you form an opinion on the efficacy of FCBIs.

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