Office of Community Corrections

Goals & Staff

Goals

Kent County OCC works toward:

  • Decreasing the prison commitment rate in Kent County.
  • Reduce recidivism which is defined by the State Board as probation violators, either technical or new sentence, resulting in a prison disposition.
  • Expand the 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.

Staff

Tim Bouwhuis
Pretrial Services Supervisor/OCC Supervisor
Telephone: (616) 632-5327
timothy.bouwhuis@kentcountymi.gov

Andrew Verheek
Community Corrections Planner
Telephone: (616) 632-5367
andrew.verheek@kentcountymi.gov

Barb DeVos
Community Corrections Planner
Telephone: (616) 632-5318
barb.devos@kentcountymi.gov

Leslie Schullo
Community Corrections Clerk
Telephone: (616) 632-5366
leslie.schullo@kentcountymi.gov

Staff Functions

Kent County OCC staff carry out a number of functions throughout the year with a primary emphasis on the monitoring of OCC-funded programming to ensure contract compliance and effective treatment services. When an issue has been noted with the programming funded by Kent County OCC, it becomes the responsibility of Kent County OCC staff to review the reasons why the issue has developed and to request/require modifications to the program to ensure that the issue has been resolved in a positive manner. Staff are also responsible for the collecting, entering, and interpreting of felony offender sentencing data in Kent County. Statistical data collected and reported to MOCC, CCAB, and other local criminal justice stakeholders includes (but is not limited to) jail utilization data, disposition rates, and program enrollment/termination information. Monthly invoices are also collected from each funded agency and reviewed for accuracy and to make certain that each program is meeting its stated utilization goals. OCC staff also compile and analyze data from COMPAS assessments completed by the Probation department at the time of the presentence investigation. This data is used to determine target populations that are being served or that should be served in the future by OCC funds or other criminal justice stakeholders in Kent County.

County Jail Reimbursement

Another responsibility of Kent County OCC staff is the County Jail Reimbursement Program (CJRP). This program allows each county in Michigan to seek reimbursement from MDOC for housing eligible offenders within local jails that would have historically received a prison disposition. Offenders who are eligible for reimbursement can receive a per diem of $35, $50 or $60 per day reimbursement for their stay in the Kent County Correctional Facility for up to 365 days from the date their sentence begins. From FY 2000 through FY 2012, Kent County has received a total of $12.4 million dollars in CJRP funds.

Kent County OCC staff took over responsibility for the Michigan CJRP from the Kent County Sheriff’s Department during fiscal year (FY) 2000. This change was done as Kent County OCC staff has greater access to sentencing information and other data which enables for the better identification of CJRP-eligible offenders.

Eligibility criteria can be modified from year to year to better reflect the population of offenders that can be truly considered “prison bound”. For example, in 2006 a blanket reimbursement for all OUIL III offenders was eliminated and this group of offenders must meet the same sentencing guideline (SGL) scores and prior record variable (PRV) scores as all other offenders. Kent County OCC continues to track offenders who receive jail sentences so reimbursement can be requested once the CJRP eligibility criteria is established. Changes can also be made to the per diem rates as was done in 2010. The per diem currently in place reflects a graduated amount depending on the type of offender diverted from prison vs. a flat rate per diem for all eligible offenders which had been in place for many years.

Presumptive Prison Bound Project

The Presumptive Prison Bound (PPB) project began at the end of 2007. This project is a collaborative effort between Kent County's Prosecutors Office, Clerk's Office, Probation Department, Office of Community Corrections, and the Circuit Court Judges and staff. The purpose of this project is to decrease the length of time from conviction to sentencing for offenders who are most likely "prison bound" thereby saving jail beds at the Kent County Correctional Facility (KCCF). The average length of time from conviction to sentencing for PPB cases prior to the initiation of the project stood at approximately 60.3 days. Through the partnership and work of all of the different departments listed above that length of time has decreased for the PPB cases to a low of 27.0 days in 2013. From 2008 to 2013 the PPB project has saved Kent County approximately 2.4 million dollars through jail bed savings.

The role of Community Corrections in the PPB project is to monitor the cases that if convicted will most likely result in a prison sentence, assist the Probation Department in completing the Presentence Interview (PSI) with the offender, and collecting and evaluating the data for the project.