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Parole & Probation
The Field Operations Administration (FOA) is responsible for state parole and probation supervision as well as other methods of specialized supervision.
FOA’s parole and probation offices are located in 10 regions throughout the state. While on parole, a person is typically supervised by a parole agent for a period of one to four years. A person is supervised by a parole agent who serves as a resource to increase the person’s successful reintegration into the community. Parole Agents coordinate needed services such as mental health treatment, substance use counseling, housing, and employment. Probation agents supervise persons convicted of certain misdemeanors and felonies to ensure they comply with a court’s probation order. Unlike parole, conditions of probation are set by the court that retains legal jurisdiction over the person’s status.
The FOA also employs specialized supervision of persons including the use of electronic monitoring, sex offender specific caseloads, veteran caseloads, mental health caseloads, risk-based responses and incentives to technical parole violations in lieu of return to incarceration, and coordinating and overseeing offenders who are supervised under the Interstate Compact Agreement.
The Parole Board which is the sole paroling authority for persons committed to the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections is also located under FOA.
Following the decision to parole, but before the prisoner's release from prison, the Department conducts a pre-parole investigation to ensure that the prisoner's community release plan is sound and represents the best strategy for assuring their successful adjustment, which is the key to protecting the public. The investigation includes approval of their home placement, employment, education and treatment.
Pending a prisoner's release to parole, the Department provides notification to registered crime victims, the Prosecutor, and law enforcement.
Persons on parole have general conditions of parole which require them to report regularly to the parole agent, prohibit travel out of state without the agent's permission, require them to maintain employment, to obey the law, to submit to drug and alcohol testing at the agent's request, and to reside at an approved residence. They must also avoid any unauthorized association with known criminals and cannot possess firearms. Often, the Parole Board imposes special conditions of parole which are based on their background and crime and are intended to provide the right amount of structure to increase their success.
Failure to follow the requirements of parole results in a risk-based response from the supervising parole agent. Violation responses may include more intensive case management efforts, referrals to counseling programs, community service obligations, substance-use treatment, placement in a residential program, or a return to prison if they appear to pose a threat to public safety.
Since 1913, probation has been the primary form of supervision for anyone convicted of a felony in Michigan.
Probation may be imposed for misdemeanors and felonies except for murder, treason, armed robbery, criminal sexual conduct in the first or third degree, certain controlled-substance offenses, or felonies in which a firearm was used. In recent years, on average, more than 35,400 adults have been on probation in Michigan for a felony offense and have been under the supervision of MDOC. While it is the responsibility of the department to supervise this population in Michigan, courts retain legal jurisdiction over their status.
In general, the statutory maximum term of probation is three years for felonies and two years for misdemeanors. Lifetime probation is authorized for some drug offenses. However, within the statutory maximum, the length of probation is determined by the judge at sentencing.
While it is the primary responsibility of MDOC probation agents to monitor a person’s behavior during supervision to ensure compliance with the probation order, it is the judge who sets the probation conditions or requirements. Beyond statutory probation conditions requiring a person to avoid criminal behavior, not leave the state without permission, and report as specified by the agent, the court is free to impose special conditions of probation based on the person’s criminal, personal history, and criminogenic needs. Special conditions may require jail confinement, substance use treatment, community service, high school completion, restitution, fines, court costs and supervision fees, electronically-monitored home confinement, placement in a state-funded probation residential center, and/or finding and keeping employment.
The fundamental mission of probation supervision is public protection and the person’s success. We achieve public protection by assisting them to become a productive member of the community. This is achieved by assessing the person’s risk and needs and ensuring that treatment and programming are available that will reduce their risk and address their needs. Agents collaborate with families, employers, treatment providers, and the faith-based community to assist a person to accept responsibility and change. Department policy also requires the supervising agent to respond to each violation of the court's order. Since the gravity of violations and the individual’s risk to public safety vary, policy requires agents to utilize risk-based responses that take into account the seriousness of the violation and their risk to the public, as well as the their adjustment to supervision. This approach is designed to provide agents with a range of interventions for responding to violation behavior. In all cases, agents are required to recommend to the court and impose the least restrictive response that is consistent with public safety.
Electronic Monitoring of Offenders in the Community
Michigan's electronic monitoring system is meant to provide community supervision staff with an additional tool to more intensely supervise persons who are not incarcerated.
Intensive Detention Reentry Program
The Intensive Detention Reentry Program (IDRP) falls under the Office of Parole and Probation Services within the Field Operations Administration. The goal of IDRP is to enhance public safety and a person’s success.
Interstate Compact Agreement Information
The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, a formal agreement between member states that seeks to promote public safety by systematically controlling the interstate movement of certain adults.
Lifetime Electronic Monitoring of Sex Offenders
Sex Offender Management
Sex offender management is a collaboration of agencies with the Parole and Probation agents to ensure that this population receives the treatment and supervision that they need to remain in the community productively and offense free.