The Michigan Department of Corrections and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs have teamed up to fight recidivism.
In 2016, MDOC opened its first Vocational Village. It’s a school where prisoners go five times a week to learn a skills-trade. The partnership with LARA will allow prisoners to get professional licensing while incarcerated, making it easier for them to find employment when they are released.
TyQues Banks is serving a three-year sentence for a drug charge. He is in the building trade program and says it changed his life.
“I don’t even want to sell drugs anymore since I been in here. I think carpentry is the way to go, and they make good money.”
According to the Bureau of Justice, 68% of people who are released from jail get arrested within three years. Since the Vocational Village opened, only two percent of its people have returned to prison.