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I have a son in the corrections system. During this pandemic, everyone is speaking for everyone else and forgetting those who have no voice: Those in the prisons and jails. 

They have no way out or anyone to speak for them on how they are scared and being treated. They are afraid to say anything to the custody staff for fear of retaliation, having things taken away, or worse, being put in quarantine with others that might be extremely sick.

The politicians do not seem to care, nor does the Michigan Department of Corrections. They talk the talk but do not walk the walk. They are telling the people, family and friends of these human beings what they think we want to hear. But it’s nothing but lies. They feel that these people do not matter, because they may have done something to get them there.

Inmates hide their symptoms for fear of retaliation. The custody staff take privileges away; they withhold mail and write inmates excessive tickets for frivolous things. The inmates are also afraid of being put in with those that are extremely sick. 

The MDOC seems more concerned with the staff, and not the people they are supposed to be protecting and guarding. 

It is MDOC’s fault the virus has gotten into the prison system. Custody and medical staff should not have been allowed to come and go as they please. When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed the K-12 schools, the prisons still held classes. It was not until weeks later that they stopped having classes.

Whitmer needs to protect these men and women just like she is the rest of us. She needs to use her executive power and help those who have 18 months or less of their minimum sentence. If she has the power to make us stay home, not purchase garden items, paint or flooring, then she has the power to release the Level 1 inmates. If I were her, I would have them tested and if the test came back negative, release them. It may be expensive, but itll cost less than the wrongful-death suits that are going to be brought by family members.

Denise Brooks, Houghton County

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