Marcia and I were returning from a delightful week in Hawaii with our son and his family. We were just getting used to temperatures in the mid to high 70s when we were forced to wait for a commuter airplane in any icy wing of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Even when wrapped in a blanket Marcia couldn't get warm. When we eventually arrived at our warm home, it still took hours before she felt comfortable again.
Then I opened my messages from prisoners, and stared at this one from the women in one of the units at Michigan's facility in Ypsilanti:
Lack of heat in our unit, Calhoun B. They have the return air set on 15, that pulls the outside air inside. Heat is barely on. Honestly can't even feel any heat in our rooms. All we feel is the cold air from the outside blowing on our beds all day/all night long. The head guy says they cannot turn the return air off because of germs. OK, so can we at least have enough heat so we can sleep at night, not having to curl up in a ball with 10 layers of clothing on? Why can't they turn this air down to 5. Then maybe, just maybe, we would be able to feel some heat. Highly doubt they will turn any heat up. Please, please help us. We are all so tired of being cold inside this unit. Our counselor had everyone uncover their vents and it still did not do any good. Lockers, desks and floor in all rooms are like ice cubes. Let me know if you can do anything about this inhumane treatment.
Readers of this column know of my concerns for the women. We don't treat them well in Michigan, and this is just another example.
Marcia was able to get warm eventually. These women may face a cold Christmas.
HFP has called this issue to the attention of the top brass. We'll keep you posted.