The Michigan Prisoner Re-entry Initiative program in Washtenaw County got off to a slow start but appears to be picking up steam, reported the Ann Arbor News. The Michigan Department of Corrections administers the initiative, which now has 18 sites across the state. Nonprofits receive funds to offer services such as housing and job-search assistance to ex-convicts. Eight of the 90 parolees released to Washtenaw County through the program since January 2007 are considered recidivists, an 18 percent rate that compares favorably with the typical county recidivism rate of around 76 percent. However, officials caution that it usually takes two years after release to truly measure recidivism. Some fear that the program may soon be overwhelmed. The pilot program is set to extend to all parolees in October. At the same time, state budget cuts have engendered proposals to release more nonviolent offenders.