Facts About Florida’s Prisoners:

  • Florida’s prison population has increased slightly (0.06%) since 2013.
  • Florida has the third largest prison population in the US with over 100,000 in state prison. Thousands more are incarcerated in Florida jails.
  • Florida’s incarceration rate of 513 inmates per 100,000 adult residents is substantially higher than the national average of 471.
  • 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.
  • Over 50% of Florida state prisoners are serving time for violent offenses; 16% of state inmates are imprisoned for the sale, manufacture, purchase, trafficking or possession of drugs. These figures are consistent with the national average.
  • The majority of inmates are under-educated: 72% of state prisoners test at or below GED (9th grade) level.
  • Inmates with mental health problems are a significant part of the state’s prison population with almost 17% receiving ongoing mental health care.
  • It costs $18,464 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.
  • Approximately 1 in every 35 US adult residents is under some form of correctional control (in prison or jail or on probation or parole).
  • 93% of state and federal prisoners are male.
  • The incarceration rate for white males is 465 per 100,000 residents.
  • The incarceration rate for Hispanic males is 1,090 per 100,000 residents.
  • The incarceration rate for black males is 2,724 per 100,000 residents. Black males ages 18 to 19 are ten times more likely to be in state or federal prison than whites.
  • 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:

From the US Bureau of Justice Statistics:

  • Carson, E. Ann, PhD. Prisoners in 2014. (2015). Available online at
  • Glaze, Lauren E. and Kaeble, Danielle. Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013. (2014). Available online at http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5177