Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $149,828)
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) requests funds for two projects using the state's Computerized Criminal History (CCH) and incident-based reporting data. The first project examines recidivism patterns among drug offenders using up to 20 years of follow-up data, which is longer than the traditional 3- or 5- year follow-up periods typically used. Specifically, this study analyzes data on drug offenders released from prison or supervision between 2000 and 2020. For this study, recidivism will be defined as a new arrest or conviction of a known offender after release from custody for a drug crime. The proposed study will analyze arrest data contained in the Florida CCH database as well as inmate and probationer records from the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC). The analysis includes several relevant covariates of drug offending and recidivism to better understand why some drug offenders are successful at long-term release from prison while others are not. This information is useful for a variety of stakeholders, including policy makers and researchers. The second project analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Florida crime trends using two sources of crime data. The first source, Florida’s CCH database, will be used to assess the impact of the pandemic on several specific types of crime within the context of long-term crime trends accounting for pre-existing trends as well as monthly and quarterly seasonality. The second source will be incident-based and started collection in Florida in September 2020. Although the collection began after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to acknowledge the pandemic’s impacts are still in flux and ongoing policies and events may continue to affect crime is important. Similarly, the eventual termination of these policies and events, as the virus is eventually controlled, may also have an impact on crime trends. Consequently, a complete analysis will assess the initial impact of the pandemic as well as the continued impact over time.