LANSING, Michigan – Reducing crime through prisoner reentry was the focus of a summit Tuesday 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.
Reentry 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 reentry, 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 reentry 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.”
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