Facts About Florida’s Prisoners:

  • Florida’s prison population has decreased 1.8% since 2011.
  • Florida has one of the largest prison populations in the US with over 100,000 in state prison. Thousands more are incarcerated in Florida jails.
  • Florida’s incarceration rate of 527 inmates per 100,000 residents is substantially higher than the national average of 480 inmates per 100,000 residents.
  • Inmates serve 5 years in state prison on average.
  • Racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in the prison population: African American males make up nearly half of the prison population.
  • The top offense for Florida prisoners is the manufacture, sale or purchase of drugs.
  • The majority of inmates are under-educated: 69% of state prisoners test at or below GED (9th grade) level.
  • Inmates with mental health problems are a growing part of the state’s prison population with almost 18% receiving ongoing mental health care.
  • It costs $17,972 per year on average to house a Florida state prisoner.

National figures.

  • Over 1.5 million inmates are held in state or federal prison and local jails.
  • Over 7 million are under some form of correctional control (in prison or jail or on probation or parole). This equals 1 in every 32 US adult residents.
  • Approximately 93% of state and federal prisoners are male.
  • The incarceration rate for white males is 487 per 100,000 residents.
  • The incarceration rate for Hispanic males is 1,238 per 100,000 residents.
  • The incarceration rate for black males is 3,023 per 100,000 residents.
  • Black males ages 30 to 34 have the highest custody incarceration rate of any race, age, or gender group.

Links to other organizations:


State of Florida:

Programs make a difference.

  • Education programs decrease recidivism.
  • Substance abuse programs decrease recidivism.
  • Over two-thirds of felony offenders who complete substance abuse programs in prison are successful after release.
  • Inmates who earn a GED are 8.7% less likely to recidivate than those who do not complete a program.
  • Inmates with a Vocational Certificate at release were 14 percent less likely to recidivate than inmates overall.


From the Florida Department of Corrections:

Agency Annual Report 2011-2012. Available online at: http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/1112/stats/im_pop.html

From the US Bureau of Justice Statistics:

Carson, E. Ann and Golinelli, Daniela. Prisoners in 2012 – Advance Counts. Available online at:

Carson, E. Ann, PhD and Sabol, William J. Prisoners in 2011. Available online at:

Corrections Statistics. Available online at: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=1