A new program designed to help parolees get back into society also is helping police see the former prisoners in a different light.
The Detroit News reports that the first class of New Beginnings recently graduated. The program launched this year as a partner in jail-based re-entry efforts by the Detroit-based Chance for Life Organization.
The group has volunteered in the community, helping to build a playground and work on other cleanup projects.
The program marks the first time Detroit police officers have closely worked with former inmates as mentors.
A federal grant has provided more than $100,000 for the program.
State officials say the effort is more important in the first few months of release, when many felons struggle to re-enter society and can return to crime.