The Michigan Department of Corrections has been playing a cruel trick on prisoners for years. It must be increasing lately, because the complaints are increasing...both from prisoners and from families and friends of prisoners.
The game goes like this. The state says a prisoner must participate in a particular program before he/she can be released. Sounds reasonable enough, if you can find the program. The prisoner agrees and tries to sign up for the classes, only to discover that that particular program is not available in his or her facility. Or, the prison finds out that there is a three-year waiting list, probably because there are not enough instructors. The prisoner complains to staff and writes to legislators, even sends messages to the Ombudsman's Office and the Parole Board. Not only does the prisoner not get satisfaction...he/she doesn't even get the courtesy of a reply.
And it doesn't stop there. When appearing before the Parole Board, the prisoner will be reprimanded for not taking said course. And it still doesn't stop. The PB then gives the prisoner demerits in ratings with the board for that time when a parole will be reconsidered.
One prisoner said in a letter to a newspaper editor: I've been told I need a class. I've been on a list for more than 10 months. Yet, I cannot even enroll in it, let alone complete it, because it doesn't exist. It's insane. I received a 12-month continuance for a class I've had zero chance to complete. I'm serving time for operating under the influence of liquor---a five year maximum.
Where are those people elected to office who make such big campaign promises?
And they wonder why the prison population can't be reduced? Gimme a break.