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Special Alternative Incarceration Facility (SAI) consolidated with its parent facility, Cooper Street Correctional Facility, on March 7, 2020.

Special Alternative Incarceration Facility (SAI) consolidated with its parent facility, Cooper Street Correctional Facility, on March 7, 2020.

Please visit: Cooper Street Correctional Facility


The Special Alternative Incarceration program (SAI) began in 1988 as an alternative to prison for male probationers convicted of certain crimes and selected by courts.  In 1992 the program was expanded to include both male and female prisoners and probationers.  In 2014, the female population was moved to Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. State law precludes participation if convicted of a number of primarily assaultive crimes.


 SAI is a regimented 90-day intensive program that focuses on changing negative behavior into socially acceptable behavior.  The military discipline portion of the program is designed to break down streetwise attitudes, so staff can teach positive values and attitudes.  SAI operates in three phases:  Getting Ready, Going Home and Staying Home.  Participation in each phase is the result of assessing each offender’s strengths and weaknesses using the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) assessment and the Transition Accountability Plan (TAP) The Michigan Department of Corrections looks at incarceration in phases.  From the time your family member is sentenced, the plan is to get them ready to come home.  Phase I:  Getting Ready is the time from sentence until approximately two months prior to release.  Phase II:  Going Home is approximately the last two months of incarceration and includes final preparations for release.  Phase III: Staying Home includes the supervision phase of parole.

The Special Alternative Incarceration Program (SAI) is unique in the sense that it is a Phase I and Phase II facility.  At SAI we help with offender success by focusing on training new strategies and techniques to deal with life’s challenges and help, each individual so they can become productive members of society.  SAI is structured similarly to military training.  Participants are not referred to as prisoners they are called “trainees”.  Programming promotes a healthier lifestyle and teaches better decision-making skills. The program has proven to be cost-effective and successful in keeping graduates out of prison.


Phase I programming Cognitive Behavior Restructuring: Thinking Matters, Journaling and Cage Your Rage.  These programs challenge the thought processes used when making decisions.  Advanced Substance Abuse Therapy addresses addictions. Family/Community Structure:  Family Reunification Education, Family Reunification Meeting, Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge (PICK a partner), Smart Steps for Step and In-Reach Services. Daily Living Skills:  General Education Diploma (GED), Computer Lab, Employee Readiness, Public Works and Institutional Work Assignments. Self-Discipline: Interaction within a highly structured disciplined setting.  Trainees rise at 6:00 A.M., attend programs and work assignments throughout the day and participate in physical training (exercise designed for the trainee’s physical ability.)  Bed time is at 10:00 PM.  There are no individual televisions, radios, games or other distractions that may prevent the trainees from learning and applying the skills they learn while incarcerated in the SAI Program.   Trainees are challenged mentally, emotionally and physically while at SAI.