Michigan Helps Inmates Re-enter Society with Ban the Box Movement

On September 7, Michigan announced it will stop requiring applicants for most occupational and construction code licenses to check a box on the application form disclosing whether they have ever been convicted of a felony. Governor Rick Snyder (R) announced the policy change by the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Snyder also

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Sixth Circuit: Jail Guard’s Criticism of Sheriff was Protected Speech

Joseph Boulton, a jail guard at the Genesee County, Michigan jail, lost his claim alleging unconstitutional retaliation for protected speech on July 29, 2015. During union arbitration proceedings, Boulton testified that Sheriff Christopher Swanson had misrepresented the amount of Taser, firearm and CPR training that Sheriff’s Office employees received. He also shared his concerns about

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$77,500 Settles Michigan Woman’s Wrongful Arrest Suit

A Michigan woman who was jailed for writing a message in chalk on a sidewalk has settled her federal lawsuit for $77,500. Melissa Marie Jackson visited her boyfriend at the Genesee County Jail on October 18, 2010. As was her custom after a visit, she went across the street to wave to him. This time

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Michigan Opens Prison Museum in Presently Operating Prison Facility

By Christopher Zoukis The Michigan Department of Corrections has opened a prison museum — at the still-in-operation State Prison of Southern Michigan in Jackson. Opened June 25, 2014, the Cell Block 7 Prison Museum charges $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for a local museum society’s members, and $8.00 for children ages 5 through 12.  The museum

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Prison News in Brief: Michigan through Texas

By Prison Legal News

Michigan Prison News

On August 6, 2013, a jury returned a not guilty verdict in the trial of Lansing jail guard David Gladstone, who was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery of a prisoner.  Although Gladstone was found not guilty, an internal investigation is pending to determine whether he violated any department policies or procedures.  Jail guard Gladstone had been suspended from the Lansing jail pending the outcome of the criminal charges.

New York Prison News

A violent, bloody brawl broke out among rival gangs — the Trinitarians and the Crips — at Rikers Island on August 22, 2013.  As many as 50 prisoners were involved in the melee, which was reportedly triggered over the use of a hot plate to cook a grilled cheese sandwich.  The fight lasted nearly an hour and eleven Rikers Island prisoners and a guard were injured.  In surveillance video, prisoners were seen attacking each other with mop handles and hurling chairs; one prisoner also threw hot water, and several suffered serious stab wounds.

Rhode Island Prison News

On July 18, 2013, Gaulter Botas, a former prison guard at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute, received an 18-month prison sentence.  Botas had assaulted prisoners by hitting one with a telephone book and another with a plastic clipboard, a package of paper, a bag of food, and his closed fist.  Four Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute prisoners said they were assaulted by Botas and another guard, Kenneth Viveiros.  Botas’ conviction was upheld in April 2013 by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and a superior court judge rejected his motion for a reduced sentence.  In 2006, Botas and Viveiros were among a number of prison guards named in a lawsuit alleging that they had made a prisoner eat his own feces; that suit settled for $120,000.

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Michigan Works to Get Some Inmates Higher Education

By Associated Press The Michigan Department of Corrections is working on several efforts to teach community college courses and vocational training in-house to a small number of inmates near parole. Photo courtesy The effort comes after years without funding for prisoners to access higher education, The Detroit News reported Monday, and Michigan is joining

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