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 […]


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 […]

Prisoners should be a priority for COVID vaccinations, advocates say 

BY: - February 17, 2021

A coalition of organizations is calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to increase its COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the 33,000 people incarcerated in state prisons.  “Prioritizing who in Michigan gets the COVID-19 vaccine and when they get it must be guided by public health policies,” said […]

Whitmer grants clemency to 4 prisoners

BY: - December 23, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that she is granting clemency to four Michigan prisoners who were incarcerated for nonviolent and drug-related crimes. “As a former prosecutor, I recognize how critical it is to take steps toward a smarter and more equitable justice system. Over the last two years, we’ve worked with leaders on both sides […]

Legislature makes progress on more bipartisan criminal justice reforms

BY: - December 3, 2020

A bipartisan bill package that would revise current laws dealing with low-level crimes, youth crimes and probation passed through the Senate Thursday. This was the first day the upper chamber was in session since the Legislature’s annual hunting break in November. Senate Bill 1046, introduced by Sen. Roger Victory (R-Georgetown Twp.), would revise a law […]

Whitmer extends state of emergency for COVID-19

BY: - September 30, 2020

Michigan will be under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic for four more weeks. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-186 Tuesday to extend the state of emergency until Oct. 27 at 11:59 p.m. “Because we took swift action, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our […]

Report criticizes prisons nationwide over COVID-19, Michigan DOC touts testing, PPE

BY: - July 13, 2020

A new report from the Prison Policy Initiative has graded Michigan’s response to the state’s COVID-19 outbreak as a “D-,” although all other states besides Tennessee are ranked even lower than Michigan. The Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) is pushing back hard against the report. A spokesperson says a good score would be virtually impossible […]

The rich can pay to avoid pain, but the pandemic is taking a crushing toll on the poor

BY: - July 2, 2020

If a global pandemic strikes, you’re better off being wealthy. While that may seem intuitive, research from a Washington D.C.-based think tank confirms that affluent people have been able to afford to avoid many risks and inconveniences brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Residual wealth gives them the means to hunker down, ride out and […]

Michigan eases visitation restrictions for long-term care, juvenile detention centers

BY: - July 1, 2020

After implementing restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, Michigan is expanding visitation policies in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, juvenile detention facilities and hospice centers, but stays vigilant on requiring safety protocols.  “It’s been very difficult for residents of these facilities to be unable to see their loved ones during the pandemic,” Michigan […]

State agencies partner on returning citizen initiative

BY: - June 25, 2020

The Michigan Department of State (DOS) and the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) this week announced a joint initiative to help those released from prison with a driver license or state ID. “For formerly incarcerated individuals, obtaining ID is one of the biggest obstacles they face, and it’s also the first hurdle they have to […]

Michigan tops 58K COVID-19 cases, 5,570 deaths

BY: - June 3, 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports Wednesday that 58,035 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,570 have died from the virus — an additional 304 cases and 17 deaths since Tuesday. The outbreak has reached all but three of Michigan’s 83 counties. The city of Detroit, which is the only […]