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Michigan jails

people protesting the detainment of iraqi nationals in Detroit
Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk to a leader in Michigan's Chaldean community about his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence about the future for detained and deported Iraqi Christians. Plus, a conversation about why so many mentally ill people in Michigan end up in jail, and what we can do about it. 

courts.michigan.gov, michigan.gov

Michigan has a real shot at reducing its county jail population if it acts on some recent task force recommendations.

That’s what Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack told the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday. They co-chaired the task force.

rollingroscoe / Morguefile

Wayne County is in the middle of an effort to reduce its jail population, and it’s just received some early data to help guide that effort.

The county is teaming up with the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice to figure out who goes to jail, and who might not need to be there.

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This week, the St. Clair County jail will start offering some inmates a chance to get on medications that can help them kick opioid addiction.

The state-funded pilot program, which will start with 12 inmates, puts the county among the small but growing ranks whose jails offer addicted inmates some form of medication assisted treatment.

prison bars
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new task force will explore who is in Michigan’s jails and why they’re there. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday.

The order creates a bipartisan team to review the jail and court data collected from Michigan counties. Then the task force will use the information to look for improvements to the system and make recommendations to the Legislature.

cell block in a prison
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

You might think of Heidi Washington as the chief of 40,000 people scattered across the state in 30 different camps. Except she has much more power over them than any political leader in this nation has over their constituents.

And her job is not only to take care of her people, but to keep us safe from them. She’s the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, which is anything but an easy job.

How to cut corrections

May 19, 2017

Six years ago, the superintendent of a small and struggling school district in Gratiot County wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to Governor Rick Snyder asking that his school be declared a prison. 

Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Ten women have sued Berrien County and two sheriff’s deputies and two sergeants who worked in the county jail.

The women say they were coerced into having sex while they were inmates in the southwest Michigan jail.

The lawsuit filed this month in federal court alleges three of the individual defendants repeatedly requested sexual favors in exchange for money and other benefits between 2008 and 2015.  The complaint says due to the influence of their positions, the three sheriff department personnel were able to coerce or force the plaintiffs to submit to their demands.