Justice Reinvestment in Michigan

In January 2013, the CSG Justice Center embarked on a Justice Reinvestment approach in Michigan to help state leaders identify and address the most pressing criminal justice system challenges.

In recent years, one of every five state dollars in Michigan was spent on corrections. While policymakers looked for ways to contain the high costs of corrections, victims, law enforcement, and prosecutors urged caution against letting fiscal concerns trump efforts to reduce crime and protect the public. Everyone seemed to agree, however, that the state should get a much greater return on the significant investments taxpayers were making in the criminal justice system.

From 2013 to 2014, the CSG Justice Center worked with Michigan state leaders to study the state’s felony sentencing system to determine its impacts on public safety, recidivism trends, and state and local spending. CSG Justice Center staff analyzed data and interviewed stakeholders from across the criminal justice system. In a report to the Michigan Law Revision Commission, a bipartisan group of legislators and public members, the CSG Justice Center presented analyses and policy areas for further development.

The state enacted legislation to establish a structure for continual analysis of Michigan’s sentencing practices and justice system by establishing a Criminal Justice Policy Commission and concentrated community corrections funding on programs proven to reduce recidivism.