United States Attorneys Barbara L. McquadeAnd Patrick Miles, Jr. Host The Michigan Reentry Summit
Lansing, Michigan - Reducing crime through prisoner re-entry was the focus of a summit today in Lansing, organized by Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and Patrick A. Miles, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.
More than 200 probation and corrections officers, law enforcement officials, service providers and other stakeholders participated in the summit at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.
Re-entry is a key component of U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.'s Smart on Crime Initiative.
The summit focused on sharing ideas and best practices for improving the success for citizens returning to the community after serving prison sentences. In contrast to the national recidivism rate of 67 percent, in Michigan, only 29 percent of offenders commit new crimes and return to prison.
The summit addressed breaking through the barriers to successful re-entry, such as employment, education and mental health.
Speakers included Ronald Davis, Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Amy Solomon, Senior Advisor at DOJ's Office of Justice Programs.
"Focusing on prisoner re-entry is a smart investment because it reduces crime and saves money," McQuade said. "When we spend $30,000 a year to imprison each offender, we can instead spend a fraction of that money on helping them succeed in the community."
"Reentry failure carries a high cost -- both economically and on society -- because it means more crime, more victims, more broken families as well as more burdens on law enforcement and on the judicial system," Miles stated. "It is a multi-faceted problem that demands a coordinated solution. That is why we convened this summit."
The event also provided an opportunity for the attendees to become aware of some of the effective re-entry programs already underway such as the federal re-entry courts using intensive supervised release programs for some of the highest-risk offenders returning from prison as well as the Eastern District of Michigan’s Face-To-Face initiative. This particular initiative involves meeting with offenders and informing them of the specific consequences of continued criminal activity in light of their criminal records.
The summit was hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern and Western District of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Human Services, the Michigan Department of Community Health, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, Michigan Department of Corrections, U.S. Probation for both the Eastern and Western District of Michigan, MAGLOCLEN, Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, Thomas M. Cooley Law School and the Michigan Sheriff’s Association.