"Today, roughly 10,000 inmates have been diagnosed as severely mentally ill...just under 25%. Although the MDOC has established Mental Health Services that provides prison-based mental services to prisoners with serious mental illness/severe disorder, they are still lacking in meeting the needs of this group. Mostly, you will see many of these people on any given day functioning with heavily prescribed various psychotropic medications. The extensive counseling and psycho-therapy aspect the severely mentally ill need is missing and the treatment received lacks any real substance and value. With 95% of all Michigan prisoners eventually going to be released, one would think that those who suffe
I tested positive for COVID on September 12th, but looking back I contracted earlier than that from my cell mate. He was having symptoms and tried to see someone in Health Service on September 1st but there was no professional nurse or any other professional here at this facility that could see him. On September 2nd, Health Service saw him and they ultimately admitted him to segregation where they were quarantining guys. This administration left me in the cell with all his infected stuff till September 5th. And they had me touch all his infected stuff, when they asked me to pack up all his belongings. I contracted the virus when I was left in the room inhaling his infected stuff! Dealing wit
Charles Anthony Nealy. Not many people remember that name. It’s the name of a young man executed by the State of Texas in 2007.
Here are two more names that will be new to you: William LeCroy and Christopher Vialva. These two men are scheduled to be put to death this week by the United States Government.
Not many people can say that they witnessed an execution. I can.
I didn’t want to watch Texas put Anthony to death. But he was my friend, and he asked me to be there with him as his spiritual advisor. I’m the first to admit that I’m not much good at that “spiritual advisor” stuff, and I’m afraid my presence and my last-minute prayers were quite inadequate.
The experience, however, solidi
Deliberate sleep deprivation has been used for centuries as a form of torture.
Hundreds of women serving time with the Michigan Department of Corrections are complaining about sleep deprivation. Here’s the deal.
Women’s Huron Valley is the only prison in Michigan that houses women. Some 2,000 convicts are incarcerated at this facility in Ypsilanti. There are actually two prison sections on the campus, East Side and West Side. At one time, the West Side was used for housing mentally ill male prisoners, and so large, strong fluorescent lights were installed in the ceiling. They were called “observation lights,” and their glow could light up the whole room. The lights were important
With more than 60% of inmates at Muskegon Correctional Facility testing positive, as well as two dozen staff members, Mr. E, who faithfully chronicled all events leading up to the crisis in that prison, writes: "It is my humble opinion that the administration/warden made the wrong decision(s) at every turn in the road here. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but it appears as though this outcome is exactly what they wanted. This theory was actually voiced by CO Alexander to many of us who locked in 5 unit at the time. There are some who believe that we are part of an experiment in “herd immunity.” The lack of compassion tied to the lack of transparency point to the fact that something is horrib
A former prisoner at Handlon CF in Ionia writes: "Water quality here is atrocious. All staff are advised not to drink from the potable water supply. Instead, they are permitted to bring in gallon jugs of water to work with them, or to purchase bottled water. Meanwhile, prisoners are forced to drink dirty water. Facility maintenance workers confirm that staff sink fixtures contain water filters; prisoner sinks and water fountains inside housing units do not. Elected block representatives who push the issue are at first admonished. Should they continue to raise concerns they are discreetly transferred to other facilities."
Michigan prison guards are making some strong demands, and it’s time that somebody listens.
A couple weeks ago the Michigan Corrections Organization organized a picket at both prison sites in Muskegon. This week they did the same at Marquette Branch Prison in the U.P. The MCO is a union that represents more than 6,000 corrections officers who serve in our 30 state prisons.
The problem, simply stated: They’re shorthanded.
Employees with the Michigan Department of Corrections say 750 officer vacancies statewide have made working at prisons dangerous. Byron Osborn, union president, is being quoted in media reports as saying that widespread mandatory overtime, sometimes several days a week, i
Labor Day, 2020, like none other in the history of the United States!
While paying tribute to all laborers on this special day, it’s especially important that we honor first responders in the COVID crisis. The nation owes you a huge debt of gratitude!
My focus today, however, is on four first responders in the office of HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS. These four people last month, while trying to cram in some last-minute summer vacation time and while working around a two-day J-Pay collapse, still managed to respond to 1,695 messages from prisoners or their loved ones! A one-month record! (There was a day, not that many years ago, when we thought 100 calls in one month was a big deal!)
It’s no wo
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" Please consider supporting HFP doing little bits of good by donating today. We need your help to keep meeting the needs and requests of over 4,000 clients.
I love this quote by Albert Schweitzer: Example is leadership!
If we want prisoners to be law-abiding citizens someday, it is important that all of us set good examples. The Grand Old Party did just the opposite last week. While prisoners are expected to follow rules and abide by policies, Republican leaders chose a different route at their national convention.
Many prisoners wind up going back to prison after they are paroled. NOT because they reoffended, but because they violated some rules.
The same is true about prisoner misconduct “tickets.” Many times, the tickets are issued for the violation of a rule, rather than troublesome behavior.
Now let’s talk about the convention
Two innocent men behind bars have new hope today. That makes us very proud!
As I’ve mentioned before, Michigan prisoners are not permitted to seek legal documents through the Freedom of Information Act. The act, adopted in 1976 so that all persons would have access to legal documents, got amended in 1994. Claiming that prisoners were abusing this privilege, the Michigan legislature determined that prisoners are not “persons,” and put a stop to this activity.
Our position is that of many legal scholars: Denying prisoners the right to seek important legal documents by submitting FOIA requests actually deprives them of the right to due process of law. So, we file the claims for them. The word
As I sat in a prison waiting room, I noticed that all incoming employees were carrying their own water container.
“What’s the deal,” I asked my prisoner friend? I should have known the answer. Because the prison water was terrible. He said the nasty water not only had color but also had odor. Yet, that’s what prisoners were stuck with. Staff brought in fresh water.
It’s that way in many Michigan prisons, and yet our state does nothing about it.
A couple years ago prisoners filed a class action suit in St. Louis, Michigan, because the water in that city’s two state prisons was contaminated. They should not have been surprised when they lost that case over some dumb argument. Prisoners are u