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    The Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration is a broad-based, statewide, non-partisan collaboration representing non-profit, faith-based, advocacy, grassroots, and service organizations united to end mass incarceration in Michigan. The Collaborative seeks to create and restore healthy communities.

    MI-CEMI has adopted the following goals and objectives to be effective by the year 2030:

    • A 50% reduction in admissions to prison and jail through the increased use of diversionary programs that meet the goals of sentencing;
    • 75% of the population in each prison facility shall be engaged in productive activities at least 30 hours per week;
    • A 50% reduction in the average length of stay of persons admitted to prison through the implementation of sentencing and parole reforms;
    • A 50% reduction in the return-to-prison rate for persons released from State prison, through a rededication to the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative Model, which includes full community engagement and community funding control, codified in law.


    Michigan’s prisons and jails contribute to the larger problem of mass incarceration in the United States. With 31 state prisons and 82 county jails, Michigan has close to 44,000 people confined or detained, and we spend nearly 20% of the state’s General Fund on prisons—more than 2 billion dollars per year. Poor communities and communities of color—specifically Black men—are disproportionately represented in prisons and jails. Due to a drought of community mental health treatment, jails have become holding stations for people with mental illness and drug use issues. Michigan also sends youth into the adult system – 19,124 within the last decade. This reliance on excessive punitive responses to community problems is creating undue burdens on families of incarcerated persons, hardships for people returning to the free-world from prisons and jails, and further trauma for all people impacted by prisons and jails, especially for people with serious and persistent mental illness.


    With large numbers of people committed to working on ending mass incarceration in Michigan we can make a difference. The Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration is dedicated to leveraging individual and organizational power to reduce our prison and jail populations in this state. 

    MI-CEMI members meet regularly to coordinate efforts, connect to national movements that are addressing systemic inequality and mass incarceration, mobilize people on the ground, and share their areas of expertise.


    We are working together to:

    • Reduce the number of persons entering jail and prison
    • Reduce the length of stay when persons are imprisoned
    • Ensure conditions of confinement that are conducive to genuine rehabilitation
    • Increase the number of persons who are safely released from jail and prison facilities
    • Adequately prepare and support those who are released from incarceration for success
    • Reduce the “stigma” that prevents many formerly incarcerated persons from securing housing and employment
    • Reinvest any savings from reductions in incarceration back into the most impacted communities

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