Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office Case Study Sheriff’s Office Hires Formerly Incarcerated Community Members to Promote Alternatives to Enforcement

Overview

Since 2009, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) in Michigan has been successfully implementing an innovative community outreach program that employs formerly incarcerated individuals as outreach workers (OWs). OWs assist with proactive policing strategies such as referring community members to resources, applying system expertise to help individuals navigate it, and strengthening law enforcement-community relationships. The initiative doubles as an individualized reentry program for OWs, providing them with stable employment, trainings, and personal development opportunities. This case study examines the program in depth as well as its impact on local police-community relations.