All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A modern-day "David" takes on Goliath!

Apologies for this contemporary paraphrase of I Samuel 17

Now the State of Michigan gathered its forces and drew up its battle lines against the American Civil Liberties Union.

A Goliath named MDOC, a behemoth of a department costing the state $5-million per day, came out of the Michigan camp. He shouted at and taunted the cowering Prisoner Observation Aides at Huron Valley Correctional Facility. “Why have you come out for battle? Am I not the State of Michigan, and are you not prisoners behind bars? Now choose one person to fight me. If I win, nothing will change. If your warrior is able to fight me, however, things will improve for the mentally ill behind bars.”

On hearing his words, the Aides were dismayed and terrified. They had been witnessing abuse and neglect of mentally ill patients for months and years, and their complaints were constantly ignored.

Upon facing this challenge, a POA named Sharee, angered because she had lost her job for reporting incidents of abuse, told her fellow prisoners: “Let no one lose heart, your servant will go fight the state!”

The battleground was the US District Court. Sharee Miller took her slingshot, and picked up four stones with a single letter etched in each one: A C L U. Encouraged by HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS to proceed with her battle, she informed Goliath: “You come against me with might and dollars. I come on behalf of the downtrodden, with the truth on my side!”

Reaching into her bag and taking out a stone, Sharee slung it and struck the MDOC in the forehead. A messenger ran to her fellow POAs with the news:

The ACLU of Michigan has settled a federal lawsuit after the Michigan Department of Corrections agreed to a major policy change that will allow prisoners to report any abuse they witness of other inmates. In addition, Ms. Miller will be reinstated to her position as a POA, compensated for her lost wages, and have her record cleared of having been terminated for violating prison rules.

Said Sharee in a personal message to HFP:

Although I am certainly tired, I am gracefully tired and grateful. God is so amazing. He always does what is right and best. Thank you for taking the hundreds of phone calls, the endless tears you listened to over this, and thank you for sending all the right people my way. Today has truly been rewarding. The change is usually subtle, but this time the change is great. Thank you again for helping me through the retaliation, tears, hurt and anger, it was worth it!

No comments: