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Michigan's recidivism rate continues to decline, MDOC says

Anti-recidivism bills clear House, will soon reach governor
Posted at 3:52 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 15:52:48-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s recidivism rate has dropped for the second year in a row and continues to stand at its lowest rate in state history, the Michigan Department of Corrections said Tuesday.

The recidivism rate, which measures the percentage of offenders who return to prison within three years of release, is now at 26.6%.

Offenders can be returned to prison for committing new crimes or for violating the conditions of their parole.

Current figures represent individuals who were released from prison in 2017.

Recidivism in Michigan has hovered around 30% in past years and reflects a drop from 1998, when the rate was 45.7%.

“Our administration has spent the last two years delivering bipartisan solutions to improve the criminal justice system in a way that makes Michigan a leader in smart justice, and the results speak for themselves,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said. “We must continue to pursue reforms that allow the system to work for more people, so that fewer people return to prison or find themselves there in the first place. When we build programs and policies that are designed to help people – victims, survivors and those who have committed offenses – we simultaneously make our families, neighborhoods and communities safer and stronger.”

MDOC’s third Vocational Village is set to launch soon at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility.

Last summer, MDOC and the Michigan Department of State announced a joint initiative to help returning citizens reintegrate into their communities by providing them with a driver’s license or state ID upon their parole.

Efforts to reduce opioid addiction, provide mentors to parolees and use of a new model to improve interactions with those MDOC supervises are some of the plans rolling out this year as part of the department’s strategic plan.

“Our focus on long-term public safety not only helps those under our supervision and their families, but also the wider community, as having fewer people coming to prison means less crime and fewer victims,” said Heidi Washington, director of the Department of Corrections.

In addition, the state’s prison population has dropped by 21% since 2015.