Friday, May 4, 2018

Little things/big point: You’re just a number!

Little things.

Often, it’s the little things that touch me. I’ve written several blogs about that.

But then, it can be little things that set me off, too!

Rudy recently sent this message to me by email:

My mother came to see me on Sunday and was refused to be let in because she cannot go through the metal detectors because she has a heart pace maker because she is battling cancer. I believe that was kinda harsh to reject the visit, when they could have pat her down or scan her with the wand.

His elderly and ailing mom comes all the way from Detroit to Jackson to visit her son, and the CO can’t take a moment to use the metal detection wand? Harsh? Are you kidding me? One will never prove whether race might be involved, or whether the officer was just having a bad day. Guess whether this is the first time something like this has ever happened.

Second example.

Carl sent me this message by email:
Dear Doug:
My wife died this Easter Sunday. She thought the world about you and the support you have been providing me with.

The message arrived in my in-box exactly one month after he sent it. One month! We realize that HFP messages, in and out, are under high scrutiny. Delays are inevitable. But for someone in the department to delay this meaningful and highly personal, intimate message for four weeks is inexcusable. No one can prove whether the specific charge that sent Carl to prison might have played a part in this, or whether the screening officer was just having a bad day. The spin-off, of course, is that there was no prompt heartfelt response from me. For all Carl knew, I didn't care.

These are people, Ladies and Gentlemen. They're behind bars. You and I are not. We all have feelings. We all count, based on my interpretation of the Holy Writ. 

In my column, published in the May, 2018, HFP newsletter, I point out that once you enter the prison system you’re no longer a person. These two small examples underscore the point:  In there you’re still just a number.

I truly believe the current Michigan prison administration is making progress, but I’m also convinced that it will take a miracle to warm up a cold, heartless system.

That’s why our name and our mission are so important. HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS is our name, and that describes our philosophy.

Every inmate deserves to be treated in a humane manner.

No exceptions.

1 comment:

Robert Bulten said...

Amen. This message needs to be said over and over again by as many of us as we can.