Prisons

Sexual assault survivors urge lawmakers to revise statute of limitations, govt. immunity laws 

BY: - October 6, 2021

Survivors of sexual abuse from two former university doctors want the Legislature to reform laws regarding sexual assault.  Dr. Robert Anderson was the former head of the University Health Service and a physician for the University of Michigan Athletic Department for 35 years. He died in 2008. Hundreds of former patients have since come forward […]

Dem wants prisoner ‘good time’ credits brought back, reversing ‘tough-on-crime’ measures

BY: - October 3, 2021

Michigan Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced legislation last week that would reinstate “good time credits” in the Michigan prison system.  “Good time” credits are a system that enables inmates to earn credits based on following the rules and academic and professional program participation and gain with the intent for prisoners to be able to […]

Bipartisan bills boost crisis response and jail diversion programs for people with mental illness

BY: - September 20, 2021

State Sens. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) and Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) introduced two bills last week to establish grants funding community crisis and jail intervention programs in localities to address pitfalls in mental health response programs in Michigan.  In 1974, the Community Mental Health code was established in Michigan that created laws and programs to […]

How Michigan became a success story for prisoner college programs

BY: - August 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: Pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states and Washington, D.C., can now get federal grants to work with colleges and universities […]

Hartland man sentenced to 6 years in prison for Whitmer kidnapping plot

BY: - August 25, 2021

One of the men who allegedly plotted last year to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her COVID-19 health restrictions was sentenced to prison Wednesday for 6 ¼ years. Hartland resident Ty Garbin, 25, who is one of six men charged in federal court for conspiring to kidnap Whitmer, is the only one to […]

On this day in 1952: ‘Scottsboro Boy’ Haywood Patterson dies in Michigan

BY: - August 24, 2021

Haywood Patterson, one of the “Scottsboro Boys” found guilty in a Jim Crow-era criminal trial, died 69 years ago on Aug. 24, 1952. He was 39.  The one-time Detroit resident had been stricken with cancer. Patterson’s life ended while serving a separate manslaughter conviction in Jackson, Mich., prison. Patterson was born in rural Georgia on […]

How many Michigan prison workers have been vaccinated? The state doesn’t know.

BY: - July 14, 2021

As of Tuesday, about 63% of the 32,732 inmates housed in Michigan correctional facilities are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — which is higher than the state average of 57.1%. That was made possible by a coordinated state effort, according to Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesperson Chris Gautz. But as for how many of the […]

Michigan man imprisoned for 32 years is freed after DNA evidence exonerated him of murder

BY: - May 28, 2021

A Michigan man who spent nearly 32 years in prison for murder was released this week after DNA evidence ruled him out as the killer. Gilbert Lee Poole Jr. was sentenced to life in prison in 1989 for the murder of Robert Mejia, who was stabbed to death after leaving a bar in Pontiac. At […]

Effort launched to help cannabis offenders clear their records

BY: - May 21, 2021

Several Michigan-based law firms, criminal justice groups, and cannabis reform organizations have formed the Great Lakes Expungement Network (GLEN). The effort is designed to help people take advantage of Michigan’s new “Clean Slate” law. The organization is supported by The Redemption Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the Redemption Cannabis brand, and Sons and Daughters United, […]

COMMENTARY

Column: How the Affordable Care Act can keep people out of prison

BY: , and - March 3, 2021

Many former inmates struggle with mental health and substance use disorders. Appropriate treatment for these illnesses can be what stands between successfully reintegrating into society and returning to a life of crime – and ultimately back to prison. We are scholars who study the implications of health insurance reform for criminal recidivism. In our recent […]

Reforms needed for pregnant people in prison, advocates say

BY: - March 3, 2021

When Siwatu-Salama Ra thinks of the future, she thinks of hope.  She thinks of sweeping, systemic change. Ra, a racial justice and environmental activist from Detroit, thinks of no one having to go through what she did: being sentenced to two years in prison when she was six months pregnant and delivering a baby in […]

Poverty task force wants Michigan to cut red tape for safety net programs, increase opportunities for inmates

BY: - February 18, 2021

To better support the millions of Michiganders struggling to make ends meet, the state should expand apprenticeship opportunities for inmates while they are incarcerated, end asset tests for food assistance, and increase affordable housing for low-income families and people without housing, among a series of other initiatives, according to a newly released report from the […]