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When will the AG speak for all deserving inmates?

When you’re the Michigan Attorney General, somebody listens. When you’re the founder of HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS, that same somebody says, “Doug, who?” Case in point: the Michael Thompson story. Thompson is one of hundreds of unfortunate prisoners in Michigan who have been over-sentenced. He got 42-60 years on drugs and weapons charges. That type of sentence prevents him from even seeing the state Parole Board until he has served the minimum number. He was 45 years of age when he was sentenced, so some judge determined that should not have a chance for parole until he was 87 years of age! Shameful. Thompson is one of more than 4,000 Michigan prisoners who have contracted the COVID19 virus

Never sure who you'll meet at the ice cream stand!

There was a day when I was pretty upset with a local area church. Some years ago I had a meeting with a member of that church’s Missions Committee. A church member with a daughter in prison appreciated the assistance HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS had provided, and thought that perhaps his church might be willing to provide some financial support. I made, what I thought was a meaningful and accurate presentation, about our “action with compassion.” But, it wasn’t as effective as I had hoped. A few weeks later we were informed that the committee voted against supporting HFP. They felt the church should support only missions that “teach Jesus.” I was quite offended by that. It’s like the old story

Sadness Over Visitation Ban

This no visit policy----and I understand its importance during such a terrible pandemic---is doubly hurting my mom. My birthday is coming up fast, and during the last 35 years she's been here on or near my birth date. Obviously, this isn't going to happen this year, and now that Mom's hit 77 with COPD, she's awfully sad at not spending time together. These safeguards are depressing a lot of guys in here along with me. With no end in sight to my sentence, it worries me I'll not get to hug any of my family or friends ever again.

Man's Best Friend

A Michigan prisoner who trains dogs in the PAWS program writes: Yesterday we took Kessa to the seg yard where she could run off leash to her heart’s content, as well as use the kiddie pool. We filled it to the brim, and then laughed ourselves hoarse as she’d race around the yard, dive into the pool, and then emerge so only the very top of her head was above the water. She’s small enough to paddle in circles, dunking her head to retrieve a rubber ball we had tossed. I keep saying to myself, “And they pay me to do this? Awesome!”

COVID update from Saginaw CF

Mr. D writes: Staff are finally being mandated to get COVID tested on a regular basis. Many of them are upset, but from my perspective, it's about darn time as the only way I'm going to get sick is if one of them brings  it into the facility. As for us, we must have our temperatures taken before going to the school, though now that all of the cleaning has been done, religious services are again being permitted. Sort of like Michigan weather, so is MDOC policy when it comes to this disease. LOL

HFP Nationwide? It's time!

The secret’s out. Now it’s time to share. HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS is no longer one of Michigan’s best-kept secrets. When I started this outfit nearly 20 years ago, we not only had no eye on the future, but we didn’t even know where we were headed. We simply recognized that my prisoner friend/brother Maurice Carter insisted there should be an organization to help inmates, and someone had to make it happen. Over the years we fine-tuned the name of the agency, as well as the work. Now, the word is out. Someone cares about the everyday needs and problems prisoners face, and is willing to help. The news is spreading like wildfire, and our team is struggling to keep up. Here’s a glimpse at ways we

Another Bed Vacant at Michigan Reformatory

On Friday, July 17th during third shift, Gerald Phillip Comstock returned from the restroom to his 8-man cubicle, mumbled a few inaudible words then collapsed to the floor. A fellow prisoner ran to the officers’ station informing them that Gerald passed out and needed medical attention. The officers walked to the cubicle, noticed Gerald was unresponsive, began chest compressions, and called for nurse assistance. Approximately 20 minutes later a nurse arrived and Gerald remained unresponsive. After another twenty to thirty minutes an ambulance arrived and medics transported Gerald to the hospital. What's so problematic about this gloomy narrative is that approximately 40-45 minutes elapsed fr

Update

The virus is on level 2 side and some of the guards still have it. They are using state troopers as backup guards. Everything is still not open, no religious services or classes have been scheduled. We are still going to chow hall and eating in groups in our dorm. We are now required to wear a mask, but some inmates do not listen to this. Some of them do not even wash their hands after using the bathroom. We have people coughing and sneezing at night in everyone’s cube…same when we are in the yard. So, for social distancing, that’s a joke here. No one has even done that…we still go in groups to the chow hall. We still have 6-7 guys to a cube.

If our goal is vengeance, we're doing just fine!

Someone once labeled these as The Seven Last Words of the Church: “We never did it that way before!” For years American penologists have been studying alternatives to incarceration, but I’m afraid the same philosophy is winning. We just can’t get past our penchant for using jails and prisons to “punish and deter.” Never mind how ineffective or inefficient the process. When Roger Stone was sentenced to a federal prison earlier this year, even conservative Detroit News writer Nolan Finley joined my bandwagon: “Up to 39% of the 2 million Americans rotting away in prison cells shouldn't be there, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.” It makes me sick when

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