Transforming Prisoner Reentry
For over 50 years MCCD has worked in collaboration with numerous other advocates to move Michigan’s correctional philosophy from control and detain to one of preparing offenders to succeed when they return to the community. Reflecting on the progress gained during the 1970s and subsequently lost during the “get tough” era of the 1980s and 90s, MCCD concluded that lasting change in the corrections system requires a renewed focus on proven techniques for reducing crime and increasing community safety. Furthermore, that change can only be accomplished through a broad collaboration of state government, private organizations, and local communities throughout the state. Consistent with that vision, MCCD has been a key statewide partner in the planning and implementation of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative.
The Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative: Creating Safer Neighborhoods and Better Citizens
The primary goal of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative (MPRI) is to promote public safety by increasing the success rates of prisoners transitioning from prison to the community. The vision of the MPRI is that every prisoner released from prison will have the tools needed to succeed in the community.
- MPRI is a statewide strategic approach to create safer neighborhoods and better citizens.
- MPRI delivers a seamless plan of services, support, and supervision from the time a prisoner enters prison through their return to a community.
The MPRI recognizes the vital role of community members in re-entry. In each site, MPRI planning and implementation is driven by a Steering Team of local leaders, including law enforcement, victims advocates, representatives of faith and community-based organizations, local representatives of state agencies, human service providers, and the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). Steering Teams develop a community-based Comprehensive Prisoner ReEntry Plan that addresses service areas such as housing, employment, substance abuse services, mental health, transportation, victim services, and the involvement of local law enforcement and faith-based institutions.
For more information about the initiative, please visit the MPRI website.
Capacity Building for Local Implementation
In 2005, MCCD began building the capacity of local communities, through targeted training and technical assistance, to implement the MPRI Model. Our capacity-building efforts include:
- Assisting the MPRI sites in establishing local teams and hiring Community Coordinators;
- Acting as a troubleshooting and consultation resource for the MPRI sites;
- Providing training on evidence-based practices in community organizing, in-reach and case management, community outreach and service provision; and
- Guiding local and statewide stakeholders in effective public education and outreach.
Our early work, in cooperation with MDOC, PPA, and our many local, state and national partners, ensured statewide implementation of the MPRI by October, 2007. 18 MPRI sites are now working to reduce crime in all 83 counties in the State of Michigan.
Strategic Planning to Transform the Business of Corrections
The challenge remains to bring MPRI fully up-to-scale, meaning that every prisoner who enters the system is assessed and engaged in reentry planning, by the end of 2010. To accomplish that goal it is necessary to embed the principles of effective re-entry into the way MDOC, partnering state departments, and community partners do business. MCCD plays an active role in strategic planning and consultation aimed at fostering these important changes.