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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Program issues state IDs to thousands of parolees

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Dave Nakayama
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A state program launched last year has helped issue either a driver’s license or state ID to over 5,000 Michiganders returning from prison.

It offers parolees assistance with getting the required paperwork to get their licenses or IDs upon their release.

Department of State spokesperson Tracy Wimmer said this project meets a long-term need for those getting out of prison.

“Even if the paperwork was collected, it wasn’t always happening at the speed at which it was necessary for people to find housing, find employment, get a car, get to the job that they’ve gotten. That kind of thing.”

Alex Rossman is a spokesperson with the Michigan League for Public Policy.

He said the program is part of a series of criminal justice changes he’s seen in recent years that reduce barriers for people re-entering society.

"What this program recognizes as well, is that it can be challenging or intimidating for individuals to pursue this on their own without more help."

The initiative is a joint effort between the Michigan Department of State and the Department of Corrections.