How Milwaukee Uses Police, Corrections Agents To Reduce Recidivism


Milwaukee police officers and agents with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections visited the home of a man, 21 who had finished a two-year prison sentence for armed robbery. The man and his mother were startled to see the group and surprised to learn that the officers were not there because of a problem. Instead, they were there to offer resources. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the officers and agents are part of the Milwaukee Collaborative Offender Re-entry Program, which involves the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office, Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission and other agencies. It began in 2010 in two police districts and has since expanded.

This year, the same partners are starting a program for juvenile offenders on probation or parole. The goals of the adult and juvenile programs are the same: reduce re-offending and hold individuals accountable. In the case of the former robber, officers and agents chatted with the man, who, they learned, wanted to get his GED, having tried once before and passed all sections except math. An officer gave him a note with contact information for a nonprofit organization that helps former offenders earn their GEDs and find job opportunities. During the conversation, the man mentioned he had been in contact with one of his co-defendants in the robbery case — a violation of his terms of supervision. “If you see him coming, turn the other way,” the officer told him.

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