A recent decline in the number of offenders who engage in criminal behavior following prison release places Michigan among the top 10 states with the lowest recidivism rates over a three-year period. The state reported the good news after tracking the percentage of criminal offenders who re-entered prison following their release in 2013. At just 29.8 percent, the current recidivism rate means less than one in three offenders were again incarcerated for either new crimes or probation and parole violations.
Attorney Maurice Davis is a Detroit criminal defense lawyer with years of experience helping clients who face serious charges. If you need help navigating the complexities of your criminal case, then call (313) 818-3238 for a confidential consultation.
The Good News about Michigan’s Recidivism Rate
The current three-year recidivism rate marks a drop from 31 percent among those released from prison in 2012 and a sharp plunge from a rate of 45.7 percent in 1998.
The state’s reduced recidivism rate signals that the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDCO) is achieving its goal to prepare prisoners to rejoin society as law-abiding citizens. MDOC does so through various programs intended to deliver education and job training so they can find jobs upon release, which lessens their likelihood of re-offense. One such program is Vocational Village, an initiative implemented in 2016 at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia. The program allows prisoners to learn skills like carpentry, welding, automotive technology, and plumbing, which equips them with the knowledge and ability needed for workforce entry once their prison sentence ends. Its success has led MDOC to establish a second Vocational Village at Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson.
Lawmakers’ Efforts to Ensure a Low Recidivism Rate
Both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed a package of bills in spring 2017 aimed at sustaining the low recidivism rate. The goal is to not only help individuals acclimate to society following incarceration, but to also safeguard society as a whole. Furthermore, less crime and fewer imprisonments mean less tax dollars to shelter and to care for prisoners. Those expenses are state’s most costly given the more than 100,000 individuals either in prison or on probation and parole.
The package of bills provide, for example, funding for courts to offer early intervention for high-risk offenders with a history of probation violations; newly established procedures to review gubernatorial requests for reprieves, commutations, and pardons due to medical reasons; funding for probation and parole field operations if probation and parole revocations decline 10 percent; and reduction of a defendant’s probation in its entirety if they meets specific conditions.
Legislators are optimistic the bills could result in the closure of one to two prisons this budget cycle. Each prison costs the state approximately $20 million annually to operate.
Contact Davis Law Group for Help
If you are facing criminal charges, then you need a criminal defense attorney who knows the law and understands the Michigan criminal court process. Davis Law Group can help when you need this kind of support, so contact us at (313) 818-3238 to schedule a free consultation.