prisoners http://michiganradio.org en Can Europe provide the US with a model for how to operate prisons? http://michiganradio.org/post/can-europe-provide-us-model-how-operate-prisons <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">All across Michigan, serious questions are being raised about the way our state deals with criminals.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The annual price tag for corrections in Michigan is around $2 billion a year. That’s more than is given for higher education. Michigan also keeps prisoners behind bars longer than the national average.</span></p><p>Is that money giving us a safer state? Are there other approaches?</p><p>Christopher Moraff, a writer for Next City, wrote an article titled: "<a href="http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/us-prisons-reform-european-prisons-model">Can Europe offer the U.S. a Model for Prison Reform?</a>"</p><p>In his piece, Moraff looked mostly at prisons in Germany and the Netherlands.</p><p>In contrast to Europe’s rehabilitation mission, U.S. prisons focus much more on punishing convicted criminals through concepts such as minimum sentences and exclusion from communities.</p><p>“In neither of those countries, in Germany or the Netherlands, is the sole purpose of incarceration to protect society that’s written in law,” Moraff said.</p><p>Moraff said there is an effort to create a normalized set of circumstances to mimic community life as much as possible to re-socialize offenders for when they are released.</p><p>Many European prisoners go home on the weekends to visit their families, have the right to vote, wear their own clothes and make their own meals. Prisoners live in cells that resemble a college dorm. They are allowed to decorate their rooms, and guards knock before entering to instill a sense of privacy and humanity.</p><p>“If we make the goal re-socialization, dehumanization is not the right way to go about that,” Moraff said.</p><p>Moraff said that the guards who work at the correctional facilities have backgrounds in law, mental health, and counseling. They are trained to help provide a therapeutic environment for the people they oversee. They do not simply do head counts and prevent fights.</p><p>“There is a level of professionalism and a level of training that goes with this that is unlike anything we have in America,” Moraff said.</p><p>Moraff said there have been some efforts made in Pennsylvania and Colorado to retrain their staff in these methods.</p><p><em>*Listen to full story above</em></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:50:15 +0000 Stateside Staff 18367 at http://michiganradio.org Can Europe provide the US with a model for how to operate prisons? New program helps families communicate with loved ones in prison http://michiganradio.org/post/new-program-helps-families-communicate-loved-ones-prison <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There's a new effort underway to help the families of Michigan inmates cope with having someone they love in prison.&nbsp;</span></p><p>It's a pilot program that centers on having someone serve as a liaison between prisoner's families and officials at three Michigan prisons. That someone brings hard-earned insight to what it's like to have a loved one behind bars.&nbsp;</p><p>Lois DeMott's son was a prisoner, so she learned firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate the prison system.&nbsp;</p><p>Now, she hopes to help other families with the new Family Participation Program. She joined us on Stateside.&nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 20:47:06 +0000 Stateside Staff 17761 at http://michiganradio.org New program helps families communicate with loved ones in prison The number of women going to prison is rising quickly http://michiganradio.org/post/number-women-going-prison-rising-quickly <p></p><p>There's no arguing the fact that more women are being put behind bars.&nbsp;</p><p>The female prison population in this country rose 646% from 1980 to 2010, largely because of drug offenses. That adds up to 112,000 women in state and federal prisons.&nbsp;</p><p>So what happens&nbsp;once these women are paroled?</p><p>Jennifer Cobbina is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She's the lead author of a study on female parolees that was published in the journa Race and Justice. She joined us on Stateside.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 20:37:39 +0000 Stateside Staff 17762 at http://michiganradio.org The number of women going to prison is rising quickly Giving a voice to prisoners: Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project http://michiganradio.org/post/giving-voice-prisoners-michigans-prison-creative-arts-project <p>Just because you've been found guilty of a crime and sentenced to prison, doesn't mean you no longer have a voice, an opinion, something to say.</p><p>And that's why each year the Prison Creative Arts Project puts out the call to prisoners all around Michigan: Send us your poetry, your essays, your short stories.</p><p>PCAP goes through each submission and selects work to go into its annual Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing. &nbsp;They're about to release their sixth volume. This one is called "The Sky Is On Fire, After All."</p><p>Philip Christman edits the Review, and he's an English Department instructor at the University of Michigan. He joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:25:06 +0000 Stateside Staff 16829 at http://michiganradio.org Giving a voice to prisoners: Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project Michigan bills aim to help parolees land jobs http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-bills-aim-help-parolees-land-jobs <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation in Lansing is designed to help inmates find a job when they leave prison.</p><p></p><p>The bills would let Michigan certify felons' skills and character to help them during the job application process. The "certificate of employability" could go to parolees based on their criminal history, institutional behavioral record, and vocational and educational training.</p> Sun, 12 Jan 2014 23:38:02 +0000 Associated Press 15987 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan bills aim to help parolees land jobs What can be done about Michigan's overcrowded jails? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-can-be-done-about-michigans-overcrowded-jails <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When the public hears that a prisoner has been sentenced to serve time in jail, most of us allow ourselves to think that the guilty party will do the time.</span></p><p>But what happens when the number of prisoners who are sentenced outstrips the capacity of that jail? Do you cram in more and more inmates? Relieve overcrowding through early release? Reduce bonds? And what are the repercussions of each of those approaches?</p><p>Daniel Manville is an Associate Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Civil Rights Clinic at Michigan State University. He joined us today to discuss the issue.</p><p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 21:31:19 +0000 Stateside Staff 14690 at http://michiganradio.org What can be done about Michigan's overcrowded jails? Prisoner art show http://michiganradio.org/post/prisoner-art-show <p>More than three-hundred works of art are on display at the University of Michigan by artists who are incarcerated prisoners. Independent producer and U of M professor of art <a href="http://www.art-design.umich.edu/people/detail/stephanie_rowden">Stephanie Rowden </a>visited prisons in Michigan and spoke with several incarcerated artists. She has this audio postcard about why the artists make art and what it means to be a part of the show.</p><p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-960690.mp3</p><p>The show is called <a href="http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/pcap/pages/news.asp">The Sixteenth Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners</a> and it is part of <a href="http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/pcap/index.html">The Prison Creative Arts Project.</a> The artwork is not only on display but it&rsquo;s also for sale.&nbsp; The show is at the Duderstadt Center Gallery at The University of Michigan until April 6<sup>th.</sup> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 16:26:08 +0000 Kyle Norris 1866 at http://michiganradio.org Prisoner art show