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  • Doug Tjapkes

Some protests are misguided, methinks

Something’s screwed up here! A year ago people with guns stormed our state capitol to protest a stay-at-home order to help keep people safe from a raging virus. Last month, a storming of the capitol again, this time in opposition to vaccine mandates...again dealing with the same virus. Lately, angry people have been protesting at local county courthouses. Reflecting on our 20 years of existence battling to improve conditions for Michigan prisoners, I remembered a favorite Bible verse that I put up in our office in the early years. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 In Brooks CF, a prisoner was killed the other day. Some say it was a dispute over homemade hootch, but the general consensus is that gang bangers were involved. Nobody’s protesting. We published a blog recently about the terrible dental care in Michigan prisons. Inmates coming into our state prison system receive no dental care for the first two years. The department justifies it by saying, “Well, at least it’s better dental care than they had before they came in!” Nobody’s protesting. It’s been so hot in some state prison units that inmates were passing out. Michigan’s prisons do not have AC. Nobody’s protesting. From Huron Valley we receive reports from the women that inadequate amount per daily distribution of chemicals to clean the housing units and cells is creating filth, dust, and black mold build-up in shower areas. Nobody’s protesting. No visitors were allowed during much of the COVID pandemic, yet the drug flow into our state prisons never let up. How do you suppose that happened? Nobody’s protesting. And you’re protesting because somebody wants you to simply wear a mask out of consideration for others? Gimme a break!

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