Our Mission: To support, empower and unify prisoners’ loved ones and concerned citizens to bring quality humane treatment for all that are incarcerated. To provide accurate information that will encourage education of our fellow citizens, communities and elected officials. Effective accountability will promote safer prisons, safer public and economical cost savings.
Contact us at: email@example.com
Five months after the state closed Mound Correctional Facility in Detroit, the Michigan Department of Corrections announced Thursday that it plans to close Detroit's only other prison -- Ryan Correctional Facility -- and reopen a prison in Muskegon. It is, as state Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland, told me, a slap in the face to the city of Detroit. It is also one of the stupidest -- and most blatantly political -- decisions Corrections has made.
The move calls into question any concern Gov. Rick Snyder professes about Detroit. Anderson speculated the administration wants to bolster a Republican legislator in Muskegon; I know only that the decision sabotages the state's mission of encouraging inmates' family and community ties. Visitation privileges make prisoners more likely to succeed when they go home -- and behave while they're behind the walls -- and less likely to return to crime. And closing Ryan will likely end the effective Youth Deterrent Program run by inmates in Ryan's NAACP prison program.
I've visited every prison in the state except one. In many outstate prisons, visiting rooms are nearly empty. At Mound and Ryan, two of the state's newer prisons, they were often full or nearly full. It undercut community ties when only two of the state's 34 prisons were in Detroit, where more than 25% of households don't own vehicles. Half those prisons are way Up North, including several in the UP, up to 600 miles from Detroit.
The state will use Ryan -- to be called the Detroit Reentry Center -- to house hundreds of parolees with technical violations -- infractions that aren't new crimes but violations of parole rules. An 84-bed dialysis unit will remain at Ryan. Now there will be no prison in a city that accounts for about a third of the state's 44,000 prisoners.
This is one dashboard item, governor, that doesn't add up.
**This information is being shared by Citizens for Prison Reform for purely informational purposes.
Citizens for Prison Reform "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"