Office of Community Corrections
Community Corrections Background
Implementation of a formalized community corrections program in Michigan began as a response to an increasing prison population and the associated costs being experienced by Michigan in the late 1980s. Michigan legislators passed Public Act 511, better known as the Community Corrections Act, in 1988 as a response to the growth in the prison commitment rate. The Michigan Office of Community Corrections (MOCC), housed within the Michigan Department of Corrections, was established with the passage of PA 511 and undertook the responsibilities of reducing prison admissions, gaining better utilization of county jail facilities across Michigan, and improving treatment programming provided to offenders.
In order to assist MOCC with these objectives, PA 511 also provided the authorization for local counties in Michigan to establish local Community Corrections Advisory Boards (CCAB) with membership consisting of local criminal justice and community stakeholders. With the establishment of a CCAB, counties could apply for grant funding from MOCC to assist in the implementation of community corrections programming at the county level. Kent County established a CCAB during 1989/1990 in response to the jail overcrowding being experienced by the Kent County Correctional Facility at that time. The first year that Kent County applied for community corrections funding was in 1990.
The Kent County Office of Community Corrections (Kent County OCC) was created with PA 511 funds awarded to Kent County in order to administer and guide the CCAB's comprehensive community corrections plan. Kent County OCC staff members hold a number of responsibilities that include the monitoring of funded programming to ensure contract compliance and that the agencies receiving Kent County OCC funds are providing services that assist the Kent County CCAB in meeting established goals and objectives related to the reduction of prison commitments and jail utilization. Through the work and activities undertaken by the Kent County OCC staff, CCAB members and committees, and Kent County OCC-funded agencies:
- Kent County has witnessed a decrease in its prison commitment rate from 29% in 1993 (the first full year for which sentencing data exists) to 24.8% in 2012.
- Kent County has not had to declare an official jail overcrowding emergency in over 10 years even though the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to local dispositions (probation and jail) has steadily increased from 66% in 1993 to 72.6% in 2012.