• Doug Tjapkes

This meaningful Christmas gift will cost you nothing!

A petition is being circulated asking that Michigan prisoners get high priority for the vaccine, in contrast to the present policy. Your signature will be a gift to the 36,000 men and women behind bars.

Right now, here’s the state’s position, according to Kyle Kaminski of the Michigan Department of Corrections:

“Prisoners aged 65 and above as well as prisoners aged 18 - 65 with medical conditions such as COPD, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, obesity or other conditions that puts them at high risk of a negative COVID-19 outcome will fall into Phase 1C.

Based on our study of these groups, we currently have 1,692 prisoners who are 65 or above and we are evaluating the number of prisoners who meet the conditions mentioned above.

All other prisoners will fall into Phase 2 of the plan.”

Diane Bukowski, Editor of The Voice of Detroit, contends that is not good enough, and we agree. Consider these numbers, which are changing by the minute:

-77+% Active cases in Michigan prisons

-More than 100 COVID deaths.

She contends that the MDOC ranks among the 5 worst states in the country for prisoner COVID infections and deaths.

Citing quotes from the American Medical Association and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, she, along with other prisoner advocacy groups including HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS, say that prisoners should be placed in the top tier of vaccine recipients. Prison is no different than those other facilities with captive, concentrated populations, like nursing homes.

For the health of our prisoners, as well as the public, you can help by signing the petition. Here’s the link:

Copies of this petition will go to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, MDOC Director Heidi Washington, and to the office of Michigan Health and Human Services.

So far, our voices clamoring for vaccine for prisoners haven’t been heard. By adding your voice, we’ll get louder!

Shout now.

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