Office of Community Corrections
To support and expand the use of community sanctions in order to provide rehabilitation opportunities for Kent County offenders; promote the efficient use of jail/prison beds while protecting public safety; and examine the causes of repeated criminal behavior while facilitating collaboration among stakeholders and service providers.
Kent County Office of Community Corrections (OCC) seeks to limit state prison commitments for County offenders; prevent overcrowding at the Kent County Corrctional Facility; and protect public safety by diverting low risk, non-violent felony offenders into rehabilitative programming. Kent County OCC advocates the effective use of sentencing options that include combined jail and probation terms coupled with rehabilative programming rather than incarcerative dispositions for eligible offenders. A variety of programming options are funded through the Kent County OCC. Services range from substance abuse treatment, day reporting, sex offender treatment, gender specific programming, pretrial supervision, and mental health counseling. This diversity of services addresses a number of offender needs that include the building of new cognitive thinking skills necessary to avoiding the recidivistic behavior; learning needed skills to obtain and retain employment; and programming that enables offenders to overcome the barriers to a crime-free lifestyle that are constructed by continued and unchecked substance abuse.Kent County OCC also provides statistics and data analysis regarding the offender population in Kent County for other county agencies and criminal justice stakeholders seeking to decrease incarcerative dispositions, provide rehabilitative programming, and improve the rate of successful reentry into the community following a local jail sentence for offenders in Kent County.
Kent County OCC also coordinates and facilitates the collaborative process to develop the Jail Bed Allocation Agreement which works to avoid overcrowding at the Kent County Correctional Facility. In additon, planning and policy-making is directed by the Kent County Community Corrections Advisory Board (CCAB).
Probation residential centers (PRCs) provide intensive community supervision for high-risk felony offenders. The PRCs funded by the Michigan Office of Community Corrections (MOCC) in Kent County are Alternative Directions and Pine Rest.
Community Corrections is funded primarily by grant monies obtained from the Michigan Departmetn of Corrections. Funding depends upon state approval of the budget, following a lengthy annual application process.
- Decrease the prison commitment rate in Kent County.
- Reduce recidivism which is defined by the State Board as probation violations, either technical or new sentence, resulting in a prison disposition.
- Expand use of jail diversion strategies to make more effective use of jail space.
- Encourage a wide range of criminal justice stakeholder involvement in the development of the comprehensive community corrections plan.
- Provide evidence-based programming in the community as an alternative to incarcerative sentences that will reduce future criminal activity for those that participate.
- Monitor and evaluate funded programming to ensure the quality and content of services provided.