Mar 7, 2024 - News

Michigan's shrinking prison population grew in 2022

Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Michigan prison population increased by 188 in 2022, bringing the state to a total of 32,374 prisoners.

Why it matters: The U.S. prison population rose 2.1% between 2021 and 2022, per recent Justice Department data, reversing a longtime downward trend that Michigan's corrections department has also experienced.

Zoom in: Michigan's prison population peaked in 2007, when 51,554 people occupied state facilities. Today, formerly incarcerated individuals are going back to prison less frequently.

  • The most recent Michigan Department of Corrections data, released in early 2022, indicates that 23.6% of prisoners released in Michigan returned to prison within three years — the lowest mark in state history and nationally in the top five.
  • Michigan's return-to-prison rate has been generally declining for the last few decades. In 1998, the return-to-prison rate reached 45.7%, the Citizens Research Council found.

What we're watching: With Democrats poised to take back full control of the House after special elections next month, prison reform advocates will be lobbying for a number of changes, including "second chance" legislation, cheaper phone calls, bringing back "good time" credits and more.

Read about potential legislation from MLive: "4 proposed changes could benefit Michigan prisoners"

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