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HEAT

A client at Muskegon Correctional Facility writes HFP: As we struggle through this unprecedented heat wave here in Muskegon CF, we have had multiple inmates 'fall out' due to heat related issues. We are asking for a cooling zone for inmates who struggle with heat related illness, but we've been met with resistance. We have an air-conditioned auditorium that could easily social distance 40-60 inmates. I understand there are logistical issues involved, but it seems the health of vulnerable inmates should make it worth-while on these heat advisory days.

A grateful Native American inmate

"I’d like to thank you for the service you and those who work at Humanity for Prisoners often put in. I’m sure you’re overwhelmed with requests at this time, and yet when we as human beings begin to work together, when we take away the labels placed upon us, we must know that in order for the tribe, the human tribe, to carry onward we must learn to work together. I feel you and your group have done many great things and we natives at this facility would like to thank you for the manner o have always assisted us in our plight."

Found! A Missing Son.

One of the services HFP provides is helping folks on the inside reconnect with loved ones. We’re always pleased when we receive a message like this: My child’s mother hit me up on JPay. Thank you! Now I'm back in touch with my son’s life, because of you! Thank you!

16 years later, whaddaya think, Maurice?

“Hey, Big Bro, I can see us now, working on cases…” Maurice Carter always called me “Big Bro,” pronounced “bruh.” We were standing on the banks of the Grand River in Lamont, Michigan…Maurice living in an adult care facility up on the hill. I’m thinking about it today because it was exactly 16 years ago that I accompanied him as he walked out of prison. He had served 29 years for a crime he did not commit. In the delightful stage play JUSTICE FOR MAURICE HENRY CARTER, written by Toronto playwrights Donald Molnar and Alicia Payne, Maurice has a poignant chat with me. He’s in heaven, and I’m still here on earth. I’m thinking how that chat might be today, as I reflect on our story. I spent nearl

On prisoner deaths, we opt for compassion!

A reader took me to task recently for suggesting that a dying inmate should have been released to spend his remaining days at home. She checked his arrest record, and based on his checkered past, it was her decision that the state did exactly the right thing by keeping him behind bars for his last breath. I respect her comments and position. I have never written editorials in an effort to convince readers or listeners that I am right. My goal has always been to stimulate discussion on a particular topic. I think it’s important, then, in response to the reader’s observations, that I explain once again, our philosophy for helping Michigan inmates. I found it interesting that she checked his “r

What not to read in the doctor's office

I’m sitting on a little bench in the examining room, waiting for the doctor, who is about to perform my annual physical examination. No magazines allowed, thanks to COVID 19. So, I scroll through the daily email dispatch from the wonderful Marshall Project on my telephone screen. Item #1, Nearly 79,000 prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 in state and federal penitentiaries. Item #2, New Jersey legislators are poised to pass a COVID-19-related measure that would authorize the release of about 3,000 state prisoners who are within eight months of their release date. (Something like that could and should be happening in Michigan, but it is not!) Item #3, Death row prisoners in California

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