Milbourn, Matthew A.



American Prison Writing Archive c/o Hamilton College 198 College Hill Rd Clinton NY 13323-1218 9/10/19 Okay Not long ago, shortly after their election in 2019, both the Governor of the State of Michigan, and the Michigan Attorney General, went on local TV stations saying that if you are in the state government and involved in corruption to "look out," because they were coming for you. (They may find that to be a full-time job in itself.) Well if its corruption they are after, then their own prison system would be a good place to start. Corruption, defined as dishonest practices, is the not following of departmental policies and rules here. The result is the promotion of the very behaviors that that dept is in place to correct (i.e., dept of corrections). Even the name is dishonest of that dept. Prisoners in the Michigan dept of corrections (MDOC) can tell you how dept. policies and rules are not followed. Just the high number of grievances against the MDOC states a problem (and NO, most are not frivolous). Prisoners can tell you how retaliation against them is the result of grievances written about those violations, many routinely practiced. But many prisoners, of course, like it that rules are not followed. These are those involved in "corrupt" activities themselves. Activities like using drugs, tattooing, converting appliances to play thru speakers, gambling, extortion, etc. But that's "OK". Because most beneficial prison programs (i.e.; job training) are not available until the last (2) years of your sentence, most prisoners watch TV, sleep, exercise, or read a lot to pass the time (of which many have lots of). Wasted time leads to evil things without some kind of good direction. And without any incentive for good behaviors the "evil" will only get worse. (That's "OK".) There are problems in the Michigan Criminal Justice system that extend further than its prisons. Prosecutors use any means necessary to get a conviction - without any worry of ramifications. Because prosecutors (and Judges) have complete immunity, there is no accountability for their "mistakes" - so its better to err on the side of (so called) justice, right? Innocent people then end up in prison. But that's "OK", because (its a small number). Perhaps this "bending" of the laws (and rules) bu the Judicial branch is why the prison system also thinks it doesn't have to operate under its policies and rules and can choose which to follow. This all in the name of security, control, safety, cost, and etc. So there is a whole "Justice" system that "bends" the rules, policies (laws) to fit its perceived ideals, using a justification that they are taking criminals off the street, keeping tax payers safe, and making a difference. But in reality the justice system is just increasing the burden of those very tax paying citizens they claim to "protect" by giving unproportionally, excessive sentences, no incentive for good behavior, very little "corrective" programming, and it's all "OK" !!!

Author: Milbourn, Matthew A.

Author Location: Michigan

Date: September 10, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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