Great news for Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections Michigan recidivism rate is among the lowest in the nation.

The current recidivism rate, former prisoners who have committed another crime or violated parole after being released since 2013, has fallen to 29.8%.  Now that is a success and number we can all celebrate.

The previous recidivism rate was 31% and the lowest rate Michigan has ever experienced was 29%.

Michigan’s Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said in a statement:

When we give offenders the skills they need to lead crime-free lives as productive members of society, it makes Michigan a safer place to live. These figures show our efforts have been effective and we look forward to building upon that success.

One of the reasons for this low recidivism rate is due to places like the Vocational Village, which opened in Ionia in 2016.  The Vocational Village provides training in automotive technology, welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical trades and CNC machining.

This is the type of news no matter where you lie on the political spectrum we can all celebrate.  If institutions like the Vocational Village is actually proving that it helps former prisoners to learn a trade, get a job and stay out of prison we must embrace these programs and determine if we must spend more taxpayer dollars to create and build similar sites around the state.

In the end it cost us taxpayers less to implement these programs then to house inmates in jail.  It also helps all of us as in society as well as the former prisoners.  We must consider different ways in which we can help prisoners while they are in prison as well as once they are released to re-enter society and become productive members of our society.  We must break outside of the box of just throwing people in jail and housing them purely on the basis of punishment.

Yes punishment is a part of the sentence but if we just put them in prison and forget about them we will all end up paying for that in the end, either by becoming a victim of them committing more crimes or the cost to the taxpayers to put them back into prison.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

More From 1240 WJIM AM