Office of Community Corrections

Mission Statement

(under construction)

Overview

Van Buren Office of Community Corrections (OCC) seeks to limit state prison commitments for County offenders;  prevent overcrowding at the Van Buren County Correctional Facility; and protect public safety by diverting low risk, non-violent felony offenders into rehabilitative programming. Van Buren County OCC advocates the effective use of sentencing options that include combined jail and probation terms coupled with rehabilitative programming rather than incarcerative dispositions for eligible offenders.  A variety of programming options are funded through the Van Buren County OCC.  Services range from substance abuse treatment, day reporting, sex offender treatment, gender specific programming, pretrial supervision, and mental health counseling.  This diversity of services addresses a number of offender needs that include the building of new cognitive thinking skills necessary to avoiding the recidivistic behavior; learning needed skills to obtain and retain employment; and programming that enables offenders to overcome the barriers to a crime-free lifestyle that are constructed by continued and unchecked substance abuse.

Community Corrections is funded primarily by grant monies obtained from the Michigan Department of Corrections.  Funding depends upon state approval of the budget, following a lengthy annual application process.

Goals

  • Decrease the prison commitment rate in  Van Buren County.
  • Reduce recidivism which is defined by the State Board as probation violations, either technical or new sentence, resulting in a prison disposition.
  • Expand use of jail diversion strategies to make more effective use of jail space.
  • Encourage a wide range of criminal justice stakeholder involvement in the development of the comprehensive community corrections plan.
  • Provide evidence-based programming in the community as an alternative to incarcerative sentences that will reduce future criminal activity for those that participate.
  • Monitor and evaluate funded programming to ensure the quality and content of services provided.