PPA provided strategic consultation in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative (MPRI), a statewide approach to enhancing public safety and preserving taxpayer dollars by helping prisoners succeed when they are released on parole. Michigan is the first state to create a comprehensive evidence-based reentry model based on best practices and research, and it is recognized by the Council of State Governments as a national model.
The MPRI model gives prisoners the tools they need to succeed through a process that begins with a comprehensive assessment when they enter prison, continues with services to address risk factors during their incarceration, and follows with community services and enhance supervision when they returned to the community.
PPA’s Role: PPA provided leadership in the MPRI from its inception, when the Michigan Department of Corrections engaged PPA to plan and facilitate its two-day kickoff session. The team was led by Jeffrey D. Padden, who was chair of the House Corrections Committee when he served in the Legislature.
Development: PPA developed the collaborative partnerships among state and local agencies that are critical to a successful state-funded, community-based initiative that draws on broad support and engagement from law enforcement, parole agents, local government, community agencies, faith-based organizations, and others. PPA produced MPRI’s publications, convened the MPRI Advisory Council, and then developed the structure and operating principles of the MPRI model. PPA also devised the implementation plan for using the MPRI model in every jurisdiction in Michigan.
Implementation: PPA, along with the Michigan Department of Corrections and the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, were the initial core partners in the MPRI, and they worked collaboratively as the MPRI moved from planning to pilot sites to a statewide system. PPA implemented the nationally lauded risk assessment tool that the Michigan Department of Corrections uses to evaluate every offender entering prison and prepare services. PPA developed the community coordination structure for the MPRI model, developing a network of regional coordinators who communicate the MPRI to the public and coordinate local operations.
Evaluation: PPA convened a national panel of criminal justice experts and practitioners to evaluate the MPRI. The day-long session assessing the early results of the MPRI, and the forum helped inform future evaluation, including ongoing research at a prison “Learning Site.”
Communications: PPA produced communication tools for a variety of audiences. It created the MPRI Web site, conducted interviews and produced videos. PPA also created progress reports, brochures, fact sheets, and other documents to assist the Department of Corrections and the community coordinators. It planned and executed briefings for legislators, and provided assistance to community coordinators in developing communications plans and responding rapidly to the issues arising in the media.
Results: The MPRI is designed to protect the public by reducing recidivism and crime, as well as to control Corrections’ costs. Michigan has been able to safely increase the number of prisoners paroled, and the recidivism rate and crime rate have gone down. While additional research is needed to draw a direct correlation, these are the results that the Michigan Department of Corrections was hoping for. It was able to close 14 prisons and is save $293 million annually in prison costs.