Programs Help Michigan Hit Lowest-ever Recidivism Rate

At 28.1 percent, the Michigan Department of Corrections already beat its numbers by 1.7 percent in 2018 from last year’s count, which recorded the recidivism rate at 29.8 percent, the lowest ever. Recidivism in Michigan has hovered around 30 percent in recent years, and has proven a sharp decline from 1998 when the rate was a significantly higher at 45.7 percent.

Michigan’s impressive position in

the area of recidivism is speculated to be as a result of important programs and training that the state has put in place with just such goals in mind. The department’s “Offender Success” model provides inmates with education, skills and job training in high-demand fields that can lead to stable careers and lower the risk of re-offense.

“Our communities are safer when we give offenders the tools they need to become successful and productive members of society,” said Heidi Washington, director of the Michigan Department of Corrections. “The department has made it a priority to provide high-quality education, training and support to offenders returning to our neighborhoods, and Michigan’s declining recidivism rates show these efforts are working.”

Some examples of the new DOC training programs include the Vocational Village, which operates at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia (since 2016) and one that opened shortly thereafter at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson. These two programs provide training in automotive technology, welding, CNC machining, robotics, commercial truck driving, forklift operation, carpentry, plumbing, electrical trades and concrete and masonry work.

Gov. Rick Snyder said:

Ninety-five percent of people in prison will be paroled, and 100 percent of them need a job. Finding employment is the best deterrent in keeping former offenders from returning to prison. The Department of Corrections should be proud of the work it’s doing to help our returning residents to give them the chance that best helps them find a successful path in life.

Michigan’s recent record-breaking recidivism rate is an important indicator that the Michigan DOC is meeting its mission to prepare prisoners to reenter the community as law-abiding citizens.

Washington added:

When we give offenders the skills they need to lead crime-free lives as productive members of society, it makes Michigan a safer place to live. These figures show our efforts have been effective, and we look forward to building upon that success.

© Humane Exposures / Susan Madden Lankford

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