Sunday, June 10, 2012

Think it's hot?

It's the warm weather season, and certainly a season here in Michigan to be enjoyed. But sometimes we forget how it used to be.

I'm old enough to remember the days before air conditioning, not only in homes but also in cars and commercial buildings. Traveling in our black, 1937 Dodge sedan was't pleasant on a hot, sunny, summer day. And I remember sweltering heat in my dad's little neighborhood grocery store in mid-summer.

Air conditioning is a way of life for most of us these days...unless you happen to be in prison. And there, it can still be struggle just to get some fresh air.

I suppose one can say this is for budgetary reasons, but one has to wonder why the Deputy Director of Correctional Facilities Administration in Michigan, a man by the name of Thomas Finco, decides to crack down on free electric fans for inmates.

Thanks to Kay Perry, of the MI-CURE office in Kalamazoo, we learn in her quarterly newsletter that a policy directive states that fans be provided in double-bunked cells unless specifically exempted by the CFA Deputy Director. And so, you guessed it, he decides in favor of an exemption. Mr. Finco has decreed that his decision affects Level I and Level II housing areas as of this summer.

MI-CURE points out that many prisoners can't find work because there just aren't enough jobs. Besides that, their pay hasn't been raised IN 25 YEARS. MI-CURE concludes that asking these individuals to purchase fans when there is a recognized need for them is simply unreasonable. But that's Michigan's new position. If you can't pay for it, you suffer.

I'll bet money that nothing will be done about this. It's another one of those situations where we cluck our teeth, then go on with our daily routine. After all, we're cool enough.

This time of the year we regularly see articles reminding people to be conscious of heat problems involving our pets.

How about our prisoners?

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