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About: About Us

Our Mission

Mission Statement

With compassion for those who have nowhere else to turn, Humanity for Prisoners provides personalized problem-solving services for people in Michigan’s prisons.

Our Vision

Every person in prison knows they matter.

Our Values

○ Humanity

○ Responsiveness

○ Empathy

○ Responsibility

○ Justice

○ Hope

What We Do

HFP, in collaboration with strategic partners, works one-on-one with people in prison to provide personalized services which empower them to receive support and assistance. Key areas of focus include navigating the prison system, healthcare advocacy, commutation and Parole Board preparation, and reconnecting lost loved ones. We always listen; we always respond.

We are extremely grateful for our supporters, volunteers, and donors who together help us offer one-on-one problem-solving services to those incarcerated in Michigan’s prisons.


If you are not already involved in our work, we are so glad you’re here and we welcome you into our community.

Our Services

We respond to every request we receive.

Personalized and compassionate problem-solving services for incarcerated individuals in order to alleviate suffering beyond the administration of their sentences – for people who don’t know where to turn.

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The healthcare system in prison is grossly inadequate in many cases and leaves many in need of an advocate to get proper care - from Cancer diagnoses to mental health, to dental issues, to the terminally ill. HFP's staff is assisted by a panel of volunteer Doctors in a variety of specialties striving to get the compassionate care our clients deserve.

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Communications & Parole Board

HFP has created and shared how-to-guides to empower individuals to write and submit their commutation applications and prepare for interactions with the Parole Board.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Michigan legislature has denied prisoners the right to file requests under the Freedom of Information Act, regardless of how significant the requested information may be to their criminal case. HFP has created a FOIA Guide to help guide our clients' families, friends, and advocates through the FOIA request process.

Approximately 96% of the prison population will be released from prison someday. In other words, over one million formerly incarcerated individuals will at some point reenter our communities and neighborhoods. In light of this, HFP recognizes the essentialness for reentry resources and assistance for prisoners and formerly incarcerated individuals. In addition to our Reentry Guide, HFP offers compiled reentry resource lists for each County in Michigan.

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People Search

With only 12% of Michigan prisoners receiving visits, HFP understands the monumental significance of maintaining relationships with loved ones in our clients' lives. Our People Search service reunites our clients with their lost loved ones in a way that honors everyone's privacy and often results in meaningful reconnections.

People who are incarcerated have had many of their rights and all of their liberty suspended, often causing them to encounter a wide array of situations that they've never encountered before. HFP provides support for individuals who are navigating the prison system. This includes but is not limited to the grievance procedure, mail / JPay-related issues, property-related issues, and more.

In House Assistance

Our Story

Doug Tjapkes formed the organization in 2001 based on a dream of his best friend, Maurice Carter, who had been behind bars for 29 years for a crime he did not commit. He met the challenge of Carter, who stated that he wanted to convert this negative into a positive and help others who have been wrongly convicted and serve as an advocate for all prisoners with special needs. It was their dream that the two would work together upon his release from prison.  That was not to happen.

The courts rejected a four-year legal effort headed up by the Wisconsin Innocence Project. Meanwhile, while incarcerated, Maurice contracted Hepatitis C and a serious staph infection. Governor Jennifer Granholm commuted his sentence for medical reasons in July 2004. He enjoyed only three months of freedom. He died at the age of 60 in October 2004, before he could qualify for a liver transplant.

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