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FAQs

  • If you have reason to believe someone is a parole absconder, you should contact your local law enforcement office if you know of the offender's whereabouts. They will take appropriate action to arrest the absconder and notify the supervising parole office. 
    You may also use the MDOC Absconder/Escapee Tip Line.


  • MDOC computer records only date back as far as 1980. You will need to contact the State of Michigan Archives via e-mail at archives@michigan.gov.

    You may also want to visit their website at Michigan Historical Center / Archives of Michigan. 
  • Clergy members may visit during regularly scheduled visiting hours or may also be pre-approved by the Warden to visit during non-visiting hours.  Please contact the facility in which you would like to visit to determine that facility's regularly scheduled visiting hours.   

    The clergy member will need to present a picture ID as well as documentation of his/her clergy status to the corrections officer at the front desk.  Documentation of a clergy member's status is likely to vary based upon a particular religious denomination or faith group.  Appropriate documentation may be a letter of appointment to the congregation as their pastor, a copy of an ordination certificate, or clergy license.  Some simply use church literature that identifies the person as the pastor of the church, etc.
  • Pardon/Commutation applications - How do I get a commutation application?
     
    For information on commutation/pardon, or for a commutation/pardon application, you can visit the web links below.
     
    This link is the application specifically for current prisoners.

    Application for Pardon or Commutation (Current Prisoners)

    This is a link for former prisoners and offenders who have a criminal history and are seeking a pardon associated with the crimes for which they were convicted.

    Instructions for Pardon / Expungement (Former Offenders)
     
    Application for Pardon / Expungement (Former Offenders)

    For more information, please contact the commutations office at 517-335-1739.
     
  • In order to provide you with written notification information regarding a specific prisoner, you will need to complete a Crime Victim Notification Request form.  This form may be obtained through the Michigan Department of Corrections web site under the Victim Services link or from your local prosecuting attorney's office.  Under special circumstances, individuals who do not qualify under the definition of a "victim," may receive some notifications outlined in the Crime Victim's Rights Act.      

    If you wish to register, please complete the request form and return it to the Crime Victims Services Unit using the address listed on the form.  If you are unable to obtain the form through our web site, you may contact the Crime Victim Services Unit at 517-373-4467 and a request form will be mailed to you.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding the services provided by the Crime Victims Services Unit you may contact them at the above telephone number.

    Crime Victim Services Unit 
    Michigan Department of Corrections
    P.O. Box 30003
    Lansing, MI 48909

    877-886-5401 Toll-Free
    517-373-4467 Local
  • If you have reason to believe a crime has been committed by an offender, please contact your local police department, the Michigan State Police or the county prosecuting attorney's office and provide them with the information. You can also contact the parole/probation office of the offender by accessing his supervision location information through OTIS.

  • The Michigan Department of Corrections recommends using the Michigan State Police I-CHAT Criminal History Tool. The OTIS system ONLY shows records of people under the supervision of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC).  Not everyone convicted of a felony is under MDOC supervision. The OTIS site is NOT appropriate for criminal background checks and DOES NOT contain an offender's complete criminal history (ex. jail time, crimes committed in other states, etc.)

    For complete criminal history information you should use the Michigan State Police I-CHAT Site: http://www.michigan.gov/ichat

  • Information on sending electronic messages to prisoners can be found here
  • You may be eligible to have a juvenile adjudication made nonpublic under Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 712A.18e or to have an adult conviction made nonpublic under MCL 780.621.  

    WHAT IT MEANS

    The MDOC will expunge records if it receives a TRUE COPY of the expungement directly from the presiding court. True copies can be sent to: Michigan Department of Corrections Records Administration 4000 Cooper Street Jackson, MI 49203.

    If you have further questions regarding expungements, please contact the sentencing court.
  • For information regarding prisoners in a federal prison, please visit the website at:  http://www.bop.gov as the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Michigan Department of Corrections are separate agencies.
  • Offender fee collection programs can be found at:

    http://michigan.feeservice.com

  • If you would like to submit a FOIA request or if you have questions about FOIA, please send your requests to the address below or to MDOC FOIA Coordinator at, MDOC-FOIA@michigan.gov

    MDOC FOIA Coordinator     
    Michigan Department of Corrections 
    P.O. Box 30003 
    Lansing, MI 48909 

    Phone:  517-335-4194
    Fax:  517-335-4193
     
    PD 01.06.110 Freedom of Information Act - Access to Department Public Records

  • Information on the Friends and Family (SecurePack) Program can be found here
  • Information on the Prisoner/Parolee Grievance Process can be found here
  • Information on Health Care can be found here

    Information on Mental Health services can be found here

  • Interstate Compact Agreement Information can be found here
  • Information on sending mail to prisoners can be found here
  • Information on marrying a prisoner can be found here
  • Find out how to request medical records here
  • For Michigan Compiled Laws information please use the following link:
    https://www.michiganlegislature.org
  • Information on prisoner orientation can be found here
  • OTIS - Correcting Information

    The majority of information on the OTIS site is taken from court records.  If you believe something is in error, please contact the sentencing court for clarification.  If you belieive the information is supervision related (such as absconder status), please contact the appropriate parole/probation office with your concern. The MDOC will correct information on OTIS, if directed by the sentencing court through a court order or through the supervising agent.

    OTIS - Having Information Removed

    The Michigan Legislature requires the MDOC to keep offender information on OTIS for a period of three years after the offender has discharged from MDOC supervision. This holds true even if the offender dies. Information is only removed from OTIS if the conviction is set aside, or expunged, by the sentencing court or by operation of law.  

    Current legislation (Public Act 331 of 2006) does not allow for MDOC to remove offenders or images from the public web site even for a reason of death, as their conviction history is still public information.  The discharge reason will remain the same unless the offender died while under the jurisdiction of the MDOC.  At that time, a date of death and "death" for reason of discharge will be listed.
     

  • For offender information, please utilize the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS)
  • Below is the public telephone number and address for the Michigan Department of Corrections Parole Board.  Please feel free to contact them with any concerns or problems related to prisoner parole issues.  Public correspondence regarding a possible parole remains in an offender's file and is read prior to a parole board hearing. If you want to write a letter of support for a prisoner, you should do so and send it to the prisoner directly.  That way the prisoner can bring it to the Parole Board interview.
     
    Parole Board
    Michigan Department of Corrections 
    P.O. Box 30003
    Lansing, MI  48909

    Ph: (517) 373-0270
    Fax: (517) 335-0039
  • Parole Board notices are sent directly to the prisoner.  Prisoners are allowed one representative of their choice.  If the prisoner selects you to be that representative, the prisoner is responsible to tell you the date and time and location of the hearing.  Representatives should report to the front desk of the facility immediately upon arrival. Not all parole hearings are public, however, those that are public are listed in our press releases.
  • Please visit our Parole & Probation section to learn more. 
  • The Parole Violation Unit completes the Parole Revocation Process via arraignments and administrative hearings on all male and female offenders in the state of Michigan. The revocation processes for all female offenders that are on parole supervision are conducted at the Women’s Huron Valley Facility in Ypsilanti. The revocation processes for all male offenders that are on parole supervision in Region 10, are conducted at the Detroit Reentry Center in Detroit, while all male offenders under parole supervision in Regions 1-9 have the parole violation processes conducted at the Reception & Guidance Center in Jackson.

    All offenders, male and female, have the right to a full revocation hearing, with an attorney, either appointed or retained within 45 days of becoming available to the Michigan Department of Corrections. The entire revocation process, completion of the hearing and Parole Board vote, shall be completed within 60 days of becoming available to the MDOC.
  • A complete listing of all standard special conditions of parole may be found in Attachment A of FOA Numbered Work Statement 06.04.130G.  You may request a copy of that Attachment by submitting your request in writing under the Freedom of Information Act to the following address:
    FOIA Coordinator
    Michigan Department of Corrections
    P.O. Box 30003
    Lansing, MI  48909
     
    There will be a nominal charge for a copy of this document.
  • Learn about the parole consideration process here
  • The Michigan Department of Corrections can send a "PENPACK" for paroled or discharged offenders, which includes certified copies of Pre-Sentence Investigation Report, Basic Information Sheet, Parole Eligibility Report, Offender Photo (if available), Fingerprints, Judgment of Sentence and Discharge Certificate.  This request must be from a duly recognized authority from the criminal justice community for official business only. 

    To request a PENPACK for an offender who is or has been under the supervision of the Michigan Department of Corrections, please fax your request on official department letterhead to MDOC Records Administration at 517-783-2904.  You can also call 517-780-5471 or email the request to MDOC-Records_Retention@michigan.gov.  Include the offender's name, birth date and the 6-digit MDOC number if known.  Thank you.
  • You may wish to refer to the Policy Directives that are available on the Department's website for further information on this process at the following link:
     
    Policy Directives
  • In addition to providing supervision, another primary responsibility of probation agents is to conduct pre-sentence investigations (PSI). PSI reports are required by statute for all felony convictions and are used by judges when sentencing an offender.

    PSI reports include an agent's evaluation of the offender, the circumstances of the offense, a personal and criminal history of the offender and a sentencing recommendation. Victims also have an opportunity to provide information on what impact the crime has had on their lives and may express their opinions regarding the appropriate sentence.

    Agents are required to use the department's PSI recommendation guidelines to arrive at a sentence recommendation. The guidelines, developed as an adjunct to the legislative sentencing guidelines, ensure that agent sentence recommendations are logical and consistent, and consider cost-effective community sentencing alternatives, when appropriate.
  • Pregnant prisoners housed with the Michigan Department of Corrections have access to a variety of pre- and post- natal care regardless of custody level or security classification. Supports in place for this special population are outlined in WHV-OP-03.04.100B Pregnant & Postpartum Prisoners and include counseling, Lamaze and parenting classes, and childcare options. Information on services available to pregnant prisoners can be found here

  • For public safety and prisoner security reasons, operational prison facilities are not open to the general public.  Tours for those who are merely curious are prohibited.
  • All allowable property must be purchased by prisoners through the prisoner store or Securepak Program or ordered through established institutional ordering procedures, including catalog orders from approved vendors. 

    Members of the general public may not send in packages of personal property items for prisoners.  They may, however, purchase allowable books, magazines and other publications, provided the publications are new, not used, and they are sent directly to the prisoner from an approved Internet vendor.

    Additional information can be found here

  • Michigan has indeterminate sentencing. This means that most offenders are sentenced to prison with a minimum and maximum term of years; for example, two years to five years. The Parole Board obtains jurisdiction on the case after the prisoner has served the minimum sentence, which occurs at the earliest release date. The Parole Board may parole the offender at that time if the Board has a reasonable assurance the prisoner no longer poses a risk to the public. If the Parole Board does not parole the prisoner during their sentence, the prisoner will discharge from prison upon serving the maximum sentence. This date is called the Maximum Discharge. Both dates are published on OTIS because both dates are very important to the prisoner's sentence. A prisoner may be paroled at any time between the minimum and maximum dates.

    The Parole Board does not gain jurisdiction over the prisoner until they reach their earliest release date. A prisoner's earliest release date is calculated based on the Judgment of Sentence document submitted by the court.

  • Any incoming call can be blocked permanently from a correctional facility by pressing "6" when prompted.  You will be asked to provide a 4 digit personal identification number (PIN) to confirm the block.  This PIN will be required to remove the block in the future if needed.
    You can also call the PCS customer service department at 855-466-2832 and they will be able to help block future calls from a facility.

    If you are being physically threatened, you should contact your local law enforcement agency to obtain a Personal Protection Order.

    If you are receiving unwanted correspondence or telephone calls from a prisoner, you should contact the Warden at the facility where the prisoner is currently being housed.  A written correspondence and/or telephone restriction may be placed on the prisoner after a fair and impartial review of your request has been completed. The Department will make every effort to restrict contact from the prisoner after your request is approved. However, if you should receive any contact after the restriction has been implemented, please contact the Warden at the facility where the prisoner is being housed.

    If you are being threatened by a Michigan prisoner, you should contact the Warden at the facility where the prisoner is currently being housed.  Our office will also forward your e-mail concerns to the Parole Board, Crime Victims Notification, and the Warden.
  • The Correctional Facilities Administration (CFA) is responsible for the state's correctional facilities, including the Special Alternative Incarceration Facility. CFA has administrative offices in Lansing from which a Deputy Director oversees the network of secure facilities. The network is divided into two regions, and each region has an Assistant Deputy Directors have oversight over wardens.  At the local level, the wardens oversee daily operations of the correctional facilities. CFA also manages several peripheral aspects of facility operation, including prisoner transportation and classification. Below is a link that lists prisons in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

    List of Prisons
  • Information on prisoner programming can be found here.

  • Information on reception center processing can be found here.
  • More than 10,000 prisoners parole or discharge from Michigan prisons each year. Many of those ex-offenders will turn to their families for support as they make their transition back into society. Those family members will provide critical and emotional support that includes: 
    • Shelter 
    • Food 
    • Clothing 
    • Help with job contacts
    • Guidance that promotes staying sober and avoiding criminal behavior

    Families are typically more personally invested in and affected by positive outcomes for men and women returning home from prison than criminal justice and human service agencies. Research strongly suggests that family support can help make or break a successful transition from prison to the community.

  • In 1992, the MDOC first formally recognized religious groups to be accommodated with group services on a uniform, Department-wide basis. Before that time, each facility made the decision regarding who would be accommodated. 

    In 1992, all groups that were meeting were "grandfathered in." Since that date, we only add new faith groups when their congregant meeting needs cannot be met by attendance at any existing group. Generally, we accommodate faith groups as "umbrella" groups, rather than accommodating the various sects, denominations and subgroups within the larger faith group.

    The Michigan Department of Corrections has a Chaplaincy Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC is a group of volunteers, representing various faith groups and judicatories. They exist to advise the MDOC regarding religious issues.

    The Department has a Policy Directive 05.03.150 that covers allowable religious materials, religious property, religious practices, and religious meals. The policy directive also includes the current list of recognized religious groups. 

  • The Lake County Residential Reentry Program (LCRRP), located in Baldwin and serves males and females. 

    Contact information for the Residential Reentry Programs can be found at:

    LCRRP: Lake County Residential Reentry Program

    Pamela Jackson, Supervisor
    5565 S. M-37
    PO Box 819
    Baldwin, MI 49304-0819
    231-745-7330
  • Find out how to send prisoner funds with GTL Financial Services here

  • You must first follow Policy and submit a formal research request to us for review before doing ANY work, especially any involving contact with prisoners or staff can occur.  This is consistent with the requirements of Policy Directive 01.04.120.   Please contact Doug Kosinski at 517-373-3425 or via e-mail at KOSINSKID@michigan.gov for authorization and assistance with prisoner-related research projects.
  • How do I learn more about substance abuse programming? 

    RSAT stands for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment.  It is an intensive substance abuse program offered at select correctional facilities.  Prisoners that are housed in an RSAT unit are involved in the program from dawn to dusk each day.  Facility staff determine proper placement in RSAT.  The prisoner should speak to their Resident Unit Manager (RUM) to ask about submitting an RSAT application.
  • Read the Complete Guide on telephone calls with prisoners here.

  • The MDOC places prisoners at corrections facilities in the state based upon bed space, security, programming, health care and mental health care needs.  The Department will not provide information in regard to a prisoner's transfer in advance as doing so would pose a security risk to the public, staff and the prisoner.  Once a prisoner has been transferred, the new facility location will be updated on the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS).

    The Department does not place prisoners at particular correctional facilities in order to facilitate visitation with family and friends.  Requests made by a prisoner's family or friend to be transferred to another correctional facility are not accepted.  Prisoners may request a transfer to another correctional facility; however, such a request does not guarantee that a transfer will be granted.  

    For information about specific prisoner transfers, please refer to PD 05.01.140 - Prisoner Placement and Transfer or contact the Michigan Department of Corrections - Correctional Facilities Administration at 517-335-1418.

  • Truth in Sentencing is a 1998 state law which eliminates disciplinary credits, good time and corrections centers for certain offenders and requires offenders to serve the entire minimum sentence in prison prior to being considered for parole. It replaces disciplinary credits with "disciplinary time" which is days accumulated for incurring Class 1 misconducts while in prison.  Disciplinary time days are not to be formally added to the minimum sentence, but the Parole Board must consider the amount of time each prisoner has accumulated when it considers parole.  The law commonly referred to as Truth in Sentencing, applies to assaultive crimes committed on or after Dec. 15, 1998, and all other crimes committed on or after Dec. 15, 2000. An offender that committed their offense after those dates cannot receive credits or another form of education to the minimum sentence imposed by the court. The MDOC cannot parole an offender prior to the completion of the minimum sentence. 

    There have been no changes with the Truth in Sentencing law. Citizens with an interest in the law should discuss the subject with their legislator. 

  • To become a vendor with the Michigan Department of Corrections, you need to contact the Department of Technology, Management and Budget - Procurement at 517-335-0230.
  • The Michigan Department of Corrections has launched video visitation to offer an avenue for those incarcerated and their families to connect.  Additional information can  be found here.

  • Information on visiting a prisoner can be found here