"They have installed what look like shower curtains in between the kiosks in the day rooms. They are now putting real bleach in the spray bottles instead of water. All of this comes after they make national headlines having the highest positivity rate for a prison in the country. We had another guy die a couple of nights ago. I didn't know him personally. The situation here was really bad for a while: People passing out on the sidewalks and hallways.. Hearing the ambulances coming in.. Utter mass confusion and fear."
A client shares ideas on how MDOC can communicate better:
"I think all prisons should get a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT video showing the ways COVID 19 is transmitted. Also show how when a person talks an aerosol comes out of his/her mouth EVERYTIME. I'm in a unit where everyone has tested positive and a lot of guys are NOT wearing masks! Their rationale is they can't catch it again because they have already caught it. We need a PSA video showing a person getting re-infected or experiencing VIRAL OVER LOAD which in turn causes symptoms to flare up. We have a mandatory mask wearing policy now but the officers are not enforcing this rule (in the unit where I'm at)! I believe if guys saw with t
Grieving is important because it allows us to ‘free-up’ energy that is bound to the lost person, object, or experience—so that we might re-invest that energy elsewhere. Until we grieve effectively we are likely to find reinvesting difficult; a part of us remains tied to the past.
University of Washington
Over the past two decades I’ve done a lot of hurting with prisoners. Manifestations and expressions of grief can be elusive when you lose loved ones, and are unable to be present at a wake, at family gatherings, or especially at funeral or memorial services.
The Michigan Department of Corrections will permit some prisoners to be released for a few hours when a loved one dies, under certain
Some of Michigan’s 29 prisons that just seem to be “hot spots” for trouble. When prisoner reports come in from some of those facilities, eyebrows are hardly raised. We don’t like it, but we sort of expect it.
Not so, however, for the R.A. Handlon CF in Ionia. That’s where wardens and MDOC officials have proudly trotted out the college credit program offered by Calvin University, and the job training Vocational Village. Exceptional programs. Exceptional prisoners.
Let me be clear about why I’m focused on this today. I’m NOT saying it’s bad because exemplary inmates shouldn’t be treated this way. What you are about to read here should not happen to any Michigan prisoner...not the worst of th
Louie isn’t his real name. Louie is one of our whistle-blowers in the Muskegon Correctional Facility, so we’re protecting his identity.
Louie managed to avoid the coronavirus for a while, but in that particular prison it became almost impossible.
I started getting a bad sore throat last week. The sore throat turned into a horrible (worst I ever had) bronchial infection. It affected my mind in such a way that extreme anxiety set in. I would sweat profusely. My heart would race. I could not breathe. I would repeatedly hyperventilate. I thought I was either having a heart attack or a stroke. I began to have panic attacks. I couldn't sleep for fear of dying. I didn't sleep for 3 da
A warden came to me one day and asked that I try to help get a man out of prison!
Yep, it’s true. Some six years ago I was asked to do my best to help an ailing, 74-year-old inmate to get a parole. He had been locked up for 47 years on a murder charge. He had died at least once, and was revived by prison medical personnel. He had had a spiritual conversion. He was now helping other prisoners with their legal problems in the law library. It was costing the state a fortune to keep him there, and the warden felt there was every reason for him to be granted a parole.
So, when Bert’s Parole Board review came up in 2015, I was at his side. The Parole Board member’s first request was t
Black Lives Matter. Presidential debates. COVID 19. All making headlines these days. And once again, mental illness gets placed on the back burner.
Yet, guess what? The problem doesn’t go away! And it won't.
I’ve been hammering on it for years. We have a mental illness crisis in our state prisons, and thousands of people are not only suffering...they’re not being properly treated.
Our in-prison essayist, Ricardo, has long served as a Prisoner Observation Aide, and claims to have personally witnessed over 1,000 mentally ill individuals suffering from acute disorders. He says that 10,000 Michigan prisoners have been diagnosed as being severely mentally ill. That’s a significant chunk of the