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Michigan's Recidivism Rate

The recidivism rate in Michigan has dropped three full percentage points and now sits at its lowest rate in state history.

This is the third year in a row with a decline in the rate, which measures the percentage of individuals who return to prison within three years of release. It now stands at 23.6 percent. The new rate places Michigan fourth best in the nation.

Last year, the department’s recidivism rate stood at 26.6 percent. The year before that it was at 26.7 percent. The large decline this year is the second largest one-year decline in state history.

“Anytime there is a reduction in the recidivism rate it is a positive sign and shows the long and hard work our dedicated employees have done and continue to do is paying off,” said Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. “We remain focused on our goal of providing long-term public safety.”

The department’s leadership under Director Washington that utilizes research, data, and evidence-based practices is delivering results. A sharper focus on educational and vocational training in the prisons, providing job training, combating addiction and providing vital documents before release so those going back to the community have the tools they need for success are vital steps.

And then, once paroled, moving away from simply monitoring compliance and instead taking a more active role in helping those under supervision be successful by understanding their risks and needs and helping them build new skills to change behavior.

All of these efforts coming together are leading to positive results and creating safer communities. Fewer people coming to prison means less crime and fewer victims, but it also means more people at home with their families and breaking the cycle of intergenerational incarceration.

“This is a positive sign for the state and one everyone should take pride in it,” Washington said. “I am grateful for the work of our amazing employees who are the reason why the MDOC stands as a national leader in the correctional field.”