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 and 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 reduce state prison commitments for those convicted of a felony offense as well as enhance public safety by providing and supporting evidence-based programming shown to reduce recidivistic behavior in those that engage in those services. Kent County OCC staff advocate for the effective use of sentencing options that include combined jail and probation terms coupled with evidence-based programming rather than prison dispositions for those that meet eligibility requirements. Several programming options are funded and supported through the work of Kent County OCC staff and include substance abuse treatment, cognitive behavioral treatment, sex offender treatment, gender-specific programming, pretrial supervision, and mental health counseling. The diversity of services provided address the needs of those enrolled in programming by focusing on, for example, the building of new cognitive thinking skills necessary to avoiding the recidivistic behavior; learning needed skills to obtain and retain employment; and substance abuse treatment services that work to empower those impacted by unchecked substance abuse.
Kent County OCC staff also provide statistical and data analysis regarding the sentenced felony population in Kent County for a range of criminal justice stakeholders and additional county offices working to decrease prison and jail dispositions, provide additional evidence-based programming in Kent County, as well as improving the rate of successful reentry into the community for those exiting the Kent County Correctional Facility (KCCF).
Additionally, planning and policy-making related to community corrections funding is directed by the Kent County Community Corrections Advisory Board (CCAB). The Kent County CCAB is comprised of community stakeholders that are appointed to the board by the Kent County Board of Commissioners. This body meets approximately four times a year to review funded programming; review and approve the submission of the yearly grant application to the Michigan Office of Community Corrections (MOCC); and to discuss other matters relevant and important to the criminal justice system in Kent County.
Community Corrections is funded by grant monies obtained from the Michigan Department of Corrections. Funding is established through a state approval process of the requested budget and comprehensive plan and services application that has been approved by the Kent County CCAB.