About Michigan Department of Correction
The Michigan Department of Corrections holds offenders accountable for their actions, promotes their success by training them, and finally returns them back to society. Michigan DOC manages the state's prison system, which houses convicts sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment. However, the department does not send most of the convicts to prison. Rather, probation officers supervise the convicts while others are sent to county jails for a sentence of up to one year. The department and various Circuit Courts provide probation supervision services.
Alternatively, the DOC may sentence qualified offenders to Specialized Alternative Incarceration (SAI), a re-entry program in the state. Altogether the Michigan Department of Corrections manages 34 correctional facilities composed of approximately 44,000 prisoners. Additionally, there are approximately 72,000 probationers and parolees under MDOC's supervision.
MDOC's vision is to equip all offenders who pass through their system with the tools necessary for their successful re-entry to the community. The Michigan Offender Success Model seeks to reduce crime and recidivism by implementing various services, opportunities, and supervision. Their goal is to help released inmates obtain income-generating opportunities, become self-sufficient, and reduce the risk of falling back to crime.
Michigan DOC Prison Services
The Correctional Facilities Administration (CFA) operates and manages the state prisons in Michigan, including the SAI. CFA also manages several prison operations such as inmate classification and transportation. The Michigan DOC provides all inmates under its jurisdiction with a wide range of prisoner services, including educational programs, mental and general health care, and programming opportunities.
Health Care Services
Currently, MDOC provides health care and medical services to approximately 38,000 inmates annually at 28 correctional institutions and one re-entry center. Additionally, MDOC runs the Duane Waters Health Center (DWH). DWH has 152 inpatient beds meant for prisoners whose health needs could not be met at the correctional facilities. The facility provides outpatient, surgical, acute medical, and long-term care services.
The Bureau of Health Care Services (BHCS) has the authority to improve health outcomes, promote patient education and involvement, and provide high-quality health care services to inmates.
Mental Health Services
The MichiganDOC’s Bureau of Health Care Services has a mental health service division that provides mental health care services to prisoners housed in MDOC correctional facility. Approximately 20% of inmates in Michigan undergo an MHS-provided mental health program.
MHS aims at providing treatment to inmates with mental issues so that they are transformed into independent, responsible, and self-controlled citizens.
MDOC provides inmates with various educational programs that assist the inmates in becoming productive prison community members while in prison and responsible community members after their release. The education programs that MDOC provides include:
- Academic Classes: These classes are meant to improve the basic educational skills of prisoners. MDOC correction facilities offer General Educational Development (GED), Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), and Special Education programs.
- Pre-Release/ Employment Readiness: This program is offered to inmates before being released. It tackles areas such as job placement, vocational education, and prisoner education.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE): CTE programs impact prisoners with technical skills, specific trades competencies, and soft skills that make it easier to find and maintain employment. Upon completion, inmates can transfer these skills into community employment or community college programs via a state /federally recognized certification.
- Career and Technical Counselling (CTC): Prisoners are provided with career interest and assessment to determine the most suitable CTE programs to undertake. Further, it assists in determining the best career path for an inmate after release.
- Chance For Life (CFL): This is a voluntary program at select correctional facilities. CFL aims at supporting inmates' workforce entry, job readiness and life skills, and behavioral change. The skills enable inmates' transition back to the community and stay away from crime.
- College (Post-Secondary Programs): Inmates can fund themselves and undertake post-secondary classes. MDOC allows inmates to take college classes via the mail from various colleges and universities such as Ohio University, Montcalm Community College, etc. Some colleges provide face-to-face learning inside prisons. Currently, Jackson Community College and the University of Michigan Dearborn provide credit-barring classes inside correctional institutions.
- Routine Work Assignment (RWA): Prisoners are occasionally placed in Routine Work Assignments to gain work experience, improve their employment readiness, and develop positive work habits. RWA ensures that after the release of inmates, they can find employment opportunities.
- State Correctional Opportunities for Rehabilitation Education (SCORE): SCORE, formerly known as Prison Build, provides inmates with work experience while producing items for state agencies and non-profit organizations. Incarcerated individuals trained in MDOC CTE classes take part in SCORE and also earn a state/national certification. The prisoners produce items such as furniture and landscaping plants for MDOC partners like the Ionia Free Fair, Goodwill Industries, and the Department of Natural Resources.
Michigan Sex Offender Program
To increase the safety of all Michigan citizens, MDOC provides effective sex offender treatment to sex offenders. The primary aim of the program is to reduce the chances of sexual re-offense. Through MSOP, sex offenders learn various techniques which alter their thinking and behaviors, thus transforming them into harmless community members.
Michigan State Industries
Michigan State Industries ensures that it achieves its "Building Bridges to Success" mission by providing convicts under custody with real opportunity. MSI educates, trains, and empowers incarcerated individuals to become law-abiding citizens. The unit achieves its goals by providing real work opportunities to offenders. Individuals work in various sections, such as the production of prison garments in the MSI Garment Factories.
The Michigan Vocational Village
MDOC's Vocational Village is a training program that aims to provide inmates with an opportunity to gain technical skills, get certificates, and successfully reenter the community. MDOC opened the first vocational village at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in 2016. Later, they launched the second site at Parnall Correctional Facility in 2017.
At Handlon Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison, 165 vocational trade students can learn skills that the 27 vocational trade tutors provide. On the other side, Parnall Correctional Facility, a level I prison, has 240 vocational trade students with 32 trade tutors. The inmates are housed together to form a therapeutic learning environment that ensures they succeed.
The trade tutors take the inmates through full days of training and theory instruction which mimics the typical employment structure of the outside world. Inmates gain hands-on skills in tree trimming, robotics, automotive technology, electrical, computer coding, etc. After completing the training, inmates are awarded state and nationally recognized certifications in their area of specialization.
MDOC Prisoner Visitation
Michigan DOC requires that both the inmate and the visitor to complete an application form before the actual visit. Inmates must fill in the Visitor List form, including immediate family members and ten other potential visitors. The listed persons must then fill in the Visiting Application (CAJ-103) to request MDOC to approve their visit. Visitors must submit the application to the information desk or mailroom of the facility the inmate is housed.
According to MDOC, an immediate family may be; a parent, stepparent, grandparent, spouse, father/mother-in-law, child, grandchild, step-child, half-sibling, sibling, stepsister, or stepbrother. An aunt or uncle can only be included in the list if adequate evidence proves they acted as a surrogate parent.
MDOC also allows clergy members to visit inmates during the regular visiting hours. To prove a person is a clergy member, prison authorities require such persons to present proof of clergy status. The proof may be a clergy license, ordination certificate, or literature that identifies the person as a clergy member. In special circumstances, wardens can approve clergy members to visit the inmates outside the visiting hours. The warden must approve it before the actual visit.
MDOC Offender Search
The Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) contains the following information:
- Currently incarcerated individuals
- Probationers and parolees under supervision
- Released offenders who are yet to complete their three years of supervision
MDOC offender locator does not provide the following:
- Information that violates the Michigan Freedom of Information Act
- Details of the arrested individual but not yet sentenced.
- Prisoners serving in county jails or city lockups: Counties runs the jails while MDOC manages the state prisons
- Information of offenders who have completed more than three years after supervision discharge date
- Photographs of inmates who left OTIS before the authority took their photographs or those in the system, but the authority haven't taken their images
You can do a Michigan DOC inmate search using any of the following information:
- Name: first, last, or both
- MDOC Number
- Offender Status: Active, prisoners, parolees, probationers, discharged, parole/probation absconders
- Description of Marks, Scars, or Tattoos
Whereas state prisoner lookup is done via OTIS, one can search for inmates housed in county and city jails by visiting the sheriff’s office or police department office/website.