In Michigan, a person facing prison may shorten their incarceration if they are placed in and successfully complete the MDOC SAI Prisoner Boot Camp. Both men and women are candidates for the program. The first portion of the program is ninety (90) days in length, during which the inmate participates in strenuous physical exercise, community projects work, educational and vocational counseling. Inmates who successfully complete the boot camp program are immediately paroled to aftercare in the area of the inmate's residence. The aftercare component is a combination of a 30 day residential substance abuse treatment program and 90 days on electronic monitoring. If an inmate does not exhibit a need for residential substance abuse treatment, the 30 day residential treatment program can be waived and the probationer will participate in electronic monitoring for 120 days. The inmate is then placed on 5 months of intensive monitoring. Inmates who fail the program are transferred to a regular prison to complete their sentence.
Not everyone qualifies for Michigan SAI Prisoner Boot Camp. The following is a partial list of offenses which would exclude an inmate from participating in the MDOC SAI Boot Camp program: OUIL offenses on or after 1/1/93; Sexually Delinquent Person; Taking a Woman and Compelling Her to Marry; Animals - fighting, baiting, or shooting; Animals - Dogs Trained for Fighting; Burning a Dwelling House; Burning of Other Real Property; Burning of Insurance Property; Setting Fire to Mines and Mining Material; Assault with Intent to Commit Murder; Assault with Intent to Maim; Assault with Intent to Rob and Steal; Armed Robbery; Attempt to Murder; Burglary with Explosives; Cruelty to Children; Child Abuse; Child Sexually Abusive Material; Solicitation of any felony; Crime Against Nature; Sodomy; Escape from Jail or Prison; Placing Explosives with Intent to Destroy; Extortion; Counterfeiting and possession of coins; First Degree Murder; Second Degree Murder; Death as result of Fighting or a Duel; Manslaughter; Death due to Explosives; Indecent Exposure; Gross Indecency; Kidnapping; Prisoner Taking Another as Hostage; Kidnapping Child under 14 years; Mayhem; Perjury; Poisoning; Railroads - Attempt to Wreck or Endanger; Forcible Detention of Railroad Train; First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC); Second Degree CSC; Third Degree CSC; Assault with Intent to Commit CSC; Robbery; Aggravated Assault; Carjacking; Bank Robbery; Safebreaking; Treason; Incitement to Riot; Offenses that involve death or homicide.
There are other reasons that could disqualify a prisoner from MDOC SAI Boot Camp eligibility:
1) The offender must receive a minimum prison sentence of 3 years or less (2 year minimum for breaking and entering or home invasion), to qualify;
2) The offender cannot have any pending felony or immigration detainer, a pending felony charge, or felony suspect information;
3) The offender cannot have served a prison sentence before in either state or Federal prison;
4) The offender cannot have emotional problems that make him or her unable to follow the strict regiment at boot camp;
5) The offender cannot have physical problems that make him or her unable to follow the strict regiment at boot camp;
6) The offender cannot screen very high or potentially high risk according to the most recent Assaultive Risk Screening sheet;
7) The offender cannot have a true security level of IV or V;
8) If the offender previously participated in the MDOC SAI Boot Camp as a prisoner or probationer, he or she is not eligible unless the reason for discharge was a medical reason or due to a pending felony detainer, felony charge, or felony suspect information verified while in SAI which has since been cleared. This does not apply to a prisoner placed in SAI prior to October 1, 2009;
9) If serving a sentence for a violation of MCL 333.7401 or MCL 333.7403 of the Controlled Substances Act, the offender must have served the statutory minimum if there is a prior conviction for a violation of either MCL 333.7401 or MCL 333.7403(2)(a), (b), or (e);
10) If serving a sentence under MCL 750.227b (felony firearm), followed by an indeterminate sentence, the offender must have served the 2 year felony firearm sentence AND have a total minimum term of 36 months or less which includes the felony firearm sentence;
11) If a offender has a prior conviction for any of the following offenses, they are not eligible for the MDOC SAI Boot Camp program: Sexually Delinquent Person; Accosting, Enticing or Soliciting a Child for Immoral Purpose; Child Sexually Abusive Material; Crime Against Nature; Sodomy; Incest; Indecent Exposure; Indecent Liberties with a Child; Gross Indecency; Debauchery; Carnal Knowledge of State Ward or Female; Kidnapping; Kidnapping Child under 14 years; Soliciting and Accosting; Pandering; Rape; First Degree CSC; Second Degree CSC; Third Degree CSC; Fourth Degree CSC; Second or Subsequent Offenses; Assault with Intent to Commit CSC. Any prior or current conviction involving sexually assaultive behavior will prevent a Defendant from participating in the MDOC SAI Prisoner Boot Camp program.
12) Persons who were sentenced to a flat prison sentenced under HYTA (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act) generally serve their time at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan. These prisoners are not given the opportunity to participate in the MDOC SAI Boot Camp program. The only HYTA recipients that are allowed to participate in the MDOC SAI Boot Camp program are those who are sentenced to the MDOC SAI Boot Camp as a probationer.
Only offenders who are eligible for placement in the MDOC SAI Boot Camp program and agree to placement shall be accepted; however, a determination of eligibility does not guarantee boot camp placement. The sentencing Judge must indicate on the record that he or she has "no objection to placement in Prisoner SAI Program". If the sentencing Judge indicates in the Judgment of Sentence that SAI placement is permitted, or if the sentencing Judge is silent as to the placement and the offender is otherwise eligible, the sentencing Judge is contacted in writing to verify that the placement is allowed. If the sentencing Judge provides in writing that he or she has not objection to the Prisoner SAI Program and the MDOC decides on boot camp placement, the prisoner is transferred to SAI only after eligibility is verified. Also, there is a 30 day waiting period for crime victim notification that will delay placement into the program, and to ensure that DNA testing of the offender has occurred. The sentencing Court does not retain jurisdiction of the case if the offender is placed in the MDOC Prisoner SAI Program.
There are certain privileges that MDOC SAI Boot Camp participants are not afforded:
1) Visits from anyone, except clergy, attorneys, and staff from the Office of the Legislative Corrections Ombudsman;
2) Access to the general and law libraries;
3) Personal property except for religious reading material, personal hygiene items, a wedding band, photographs of family, one package of dress out clothing within 2 weeks of completing the program, and personal and legal correspondence that meet all the requirements of prisoner mail. Correspondence with other inmates is not allowed;
4) Cannot mail out or receive any packages except for dress out clothing within 2 weeks of completing the program;
5) For the first 6 weeks there are no telephone privileges, except for: attorney communications at the request of the attorney; Office of Legislative Corrections Ombudsman upon request of that office; emergency calls as determined by the warden or designee. After 6 weeks the offender may be allowed one 10 minute collect telephone call per week if the warden or designee permits;
6) Male participants cannot have beards, mustaches, goatees, or sideburns below the ear. Males have their heads shaved with barber clippers upon arrival. Females must have an appropriate haircut, but do not receive a full head shave;
7) Participants cannot receive any funds, except for credit for a weekly amount for use in the commissary. Balances are not carried forward;
8) SAI staff may use force against an offender by using a loud voice and demand immediate response and compliance, may place their hands on an offender if necessary, and may physically move, place, or position an offender if necessary.
Inmates can be terminated from the MDOC SAI Prisoner Boot Camp program voluntarily, for health reasons, or for disciplinary reasons. If an inmate misses more than 5 days of the program for medical reasons or medical clearances, the period of the placement in the SAI program is increased to make up for the missed days. Excessive absences can result in termination from the program.
The MDOC SAI Prisoner Boot Camp program can shorten the sentence, and avoid issues with the parole board and their decision making process. However, an individual who violates parole after completing the MDOC SAI Prisoner Boot Camp program is subject to the normal parole violation process.
You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC, if the MDOC SAI Boot Camp program is a possible option for you or a loved one. Depending on the Court and the County of the offense, and the individual circumstances of the case, the Defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the Judge and/or the Prosecutor for a sentence of MDOC SAI Prisoner Boot Camp.