Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Have the idea people faded away?

We need more idea people in the MDOC, and fewer people who accept the status quo.

Years ago people joked that the 7 last words of the church were: We never did it that way before. I'm afraid that disease has spread to our department of prisons as well.

Last week Matt and I received a letter from a handicapped inmate who reported that he was shamefully neglected and abused at a northern Michigan facility. I shared that letter with Eric, a good friend who is a retired deputy warden from the MDOC. As a man of God, Eric took his job seriously. After he read the letter, he gave me this reply:

He is obviously sick and in a very negative place, and I wish at least part of his focus could be shifted to something more positive. I developed a program that cost the MDOC almost nothing to help deal with some of the issues he expressed concern with. I developed jobs for select prisoners to assist our physically-impaired prisoners with daily living chores. I was also able to develop jobs for some of those DI prisoners who were physically able to do light work. One unexpected side effect of our meetings was the realization that others had it much worse and, in come cases, certain prisoners thanked God that they were so much better off. The institutions are always short of jobs for prisoners and perhaps this could be explored. It may help alleviate a few issues.

What a great idea! And this could be implemented so easily.

Where have all the idea people gone?

The handicapped in prison need an extra dose of compassion and affection.

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