• Doug Tjapkes

Prisoners are watching you, Michigan!

“Be a good example.” We’ve heard it all our lives. “Your actions are so loud I can’t hear your words.” Says broadcast journalist Germany Kent: “Be the girl you want your daughter to be. Be the girl you want your son to date. Be classy, be smart, be real, but most importantly be nice.” "Most importantly, be nice!" I’m fretting today, after reading the headlines this morning. This one caught my attention: Legislative office buildings in Lansing closed Monday over security concerns The Detroit News said the decision was based on “credible threats of violence.” It’s the day for the electoral vote, and we have a group of nuts who believe that overthrowing legitimate votes of our citizens is a way to achieve better government. Members of our little team of staffers and volunteers work hard each day to set an example to the thousands of Michigan prisoners with whom we come into contact. We know that 95% of them are going to reenter society someday, so it’s time they get some civil and humane treatment right now. We like what a Norwegian prison warden says: “It’s really very simple. Treat people like dirt, and they’ll be dirt. Treat them like human beings, and they’ll act like human beings.” Yet, while we’re doing our best to try to provide a good influence on inmates in this state, the blasted headlines tell of radical behavior in Pure Michigan that reflects exactly the opposite. Some examples: Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol Police and capitol staff held back protesters – some armed with rifles – attempting to enter floor of legislative chamber. (April 30) F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (October 8) Armed protesters surround home of Michigan Secretary of State (December 7) I love this state, and I know these headlines do not represent the thoughts, ideas and goals of many wonderful Michiganders. But we can do better than this, folks. Too many ugly headlines. 36,000 Michigan prisoners are watching! The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today Francis of Assisi

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