In 1988, State lawmakers enacted Public Act 511 (PA511) which is also referred to as the Michigan Community Corrections Act. The purpose of PA511 was to divert non-violent felons from prison by providing local units of government with funding to develop local sentencing options in lieu of prison. As a result, new commitments to prison declined from 34.7% in 1989 to 21.9% in 2014.
During these years research was also being conducted in the field regarding what types of programming were most effective in harm reduction. It became evident that diverting offenders without addressing the underlying behaviors which lead them into the criminal justice system was ineffective in reducing recidivism. In 2014 several amendments to PA511 were passed to address these concerns. These revisions included the following:
- Moving Community Corrections programming from being solely diversionary to focusing on rehabilitation and recidivism reduction.
- Requiring Community Corrections programs to employ evidenced based principles / practices
- Targeting of offenders based on risk rather than sentencing guideline score.
- Using key performance measures, as defined by the State Board, to determine program efficacy.
The Oakland County Community Corrections Advisory Board (OCCCAB) has been receiving funding under the Community Corrections Act for it's Comprehensive Plan since 1994. Since that time, the OCCCAB has developed strong collaboration and cooperation from all components of the criminal justice system in Oakland County. The plan is updated each year in order to review the effectiveness of existing programs, as well as to create new programs as needed. The Oakland County Community Corrections Division provides a wide array of programming options which employ both legal and evidence based principles.