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Michigan Region I - West Prisons and Camps Topics & discussion specific to these facilities: Alger Maximum CF, Baraga Maximum CF & Level I, Camp Cusino, Camp Kitwen, Camp Manistique, Marquette Branch Prisons, Ojibway CF, Camp Ottawa

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  #51  
Old 09-20-2008, 12:56 PM
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Question Rumors...Rumors...Rumors...

Mike has called twice today already and I'm very happy that he is so upbeat today after the whole fiasco with boot camp issues (please refer to the Cooper St. thread for my very long post regarding the resolution to that issue, once and for all...). But he said there are rumors all over Baraga that the reason why guys are being moved out of there right and left is because it is being changed to be a medical unit for Level I's in the U.P. He said that the COs are even talking about this new "rumor". How would one find out about this and whether it is true or not?
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  #52  
Old 10-04-2008, 07:24 PM
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I think I'm going to petition to have this thread temporarily renamed "jlzkmm's man's location thread."

I'm sure there is a better new name. If anyone would like to post any ideas I'm game! LOL

Yes, sometimes I do talk to myself out loud in real life too....
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:55 PM
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Baraga is a foul place, very small packed with men. I was there.....

The ARUS is below the RUM and it is common that they make there own hours, or if they have set hours they simply ignore them. The ARUS has the power to move you to a differeant place, get you a job, get you fired, the ARUS is the "all" of the place... Saying that the ARUS is SUPPOSED...

To be a Inmate Laison with Staf, Help the inmate with problems, etc...... 90 percent of them cant stand inmates. As far as SAI / Bootcamp...

If he doesnt qualify then he doesnt. PERIOD. If the judge says no then the MDOC has NO power to let him in. The best thing to do is tell him to get a gate pass if he can, keep his nose clean and do NOT get on the bad side of Officer Massy...

Ask him About Massy... He can be your best friend or your worst nightmare... Also ask him if Dembrowski or Lonsfoot are still there. They were two of the coolest Officers there....
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:46 PM
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Default so sad to hear these things...

my husband just transfered to Baraga last week, I am yet to hear from him and reading this does not help any. He is finally a level one and is sent to what seems the worst place one could be not to mention he is almost ten hours away from me. I am very determined to go visit him any one from the detroit area? I would like to go within the next couple of weeks.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:03 AM
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Made my way back up to Baraga last weekend. Things did not go so well. I have to get my letter to the warden drafted and sent up there. We can not get out of this hell hole fast enough.

Please God, get him done with Phase II soon so I can start busting chops to get him moved!!

**Cooper St. Gals, I have a methodical way I read thru PTO, but I will be getting to you folks tomorrow or by the end of this weekend at the latest. I save the best for last, plus I have a feeling I probably have 15 pages to read and catch up on! LOL Love to y'all!
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:21 AM
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Made my way back up to Baraga last weekend. Things did not go so well. I have to get my letter to the warden drafted and sent up there. We can not get out of this hell hole fast enough.

Please God, get him done with Phase II soon so I can start busting chops to get him moved!!

**Cooper St. Gals, I have a methodical way I read thru PTO, but I will be getting to you folks tomorrow or by the end of this weekend at the latest. I save the best for last, plus I have a feeling I probably have 15 pages to read and catch up on! LOL Love to y'all!
What happened up there?
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:05 PM
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It probably isn't as bad as it sounds, but I was just disappointed...

Our visit started well over 20 mins late, because it took them forever to get me in the room. I was the only person visiting. Why should it take them almost 40 mins to process me and get him in there? Then the second CO that came in to relieve the first CO from the visiting room asked how late I planned on staying and when I told him until visiting ended at 8:30pm he blew his breath at me and tried to force me to take a bathroom break. Then when I did leave at 8:30pm he got all over Mike because I stayed the entire visiting time. I later determined that this CO would die at Cooper St. since we only get 4.5 hours of visiting a day at Baraga and his "shift" in the visiting room only went from 6:15pm-8:30pm. WTF?!

Then on Saturday there was a run of people to visit. A family of 4, a family of 2 and me. It took over an hour and 15 mins to process us, get the guys up and into the room. Visiting started well over 40 mins late that night. Then the other two families had bought photo tickets and for whatever reason the inmate who was suppose to come up and take the pictures wasn't sent and the CO in the room was told he wouldn't be in there he threw a fit, took the pictures and the entire time mumbling how this wasn't his job, etc. He had such a poor attitude about it that the one family offered to forego their pictures until the next day at visitation because they were coming back and the CO said "I can't do that because she (pointing to the other woman) wants pictures too." He said it in such a way that the woman, who was pretty emotional before we even got checked in to visit, started to well up with tears again and just kept saying, "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry." Oh and of course this day my anti-perfume CO was the one who gave us our pat-downs and she is just rude and mean and appears to hate Mike and I, along with herself and her job in general. She looked at the family of 4 and asked the guy if he spent more than $20 in food (their bag was so big with pop, chips and candy bars the front desk CO double-bagged it for them) and when he said of course the A-P-CO (lol) blew her breathe, gave him a dirty look and shook her head. So the inmate's mom says, "Chad we are only allowed to spend $15." So he panics and says, "Then no, just $15 worth." A-P-CO goes to say how she will terminate his visit for lying or some stupid BS statement and I couldn't take it anymore, so I said~~"Actually according to MDOC's policy directive on visiting you have more than 3 people so you can spend up to $45 so it is all good." OMG, did I get the death stare from A-P-CO! If looks could kill I would have been dead right there. When we went in to the visiting room she tells the CO in there that she wants me up front at the tables.

Sunday rolls around and as I'm getting the pat-down my favorite CO is barking out orders at me in rapid sequence and then yells at me that I'm going to fast. HUH? If you couldn't see in my ear then why did you bark out "behind your ear"? I wouldn't have flipped my ear down if you hadn't said it. I'm telling ya....that woman doesn't like me for anything. When visiting was over that night they rushed us out of there because they had a Level V guy coming in on a stretcher to be taken out by ambulance (there was a fight and he obviously lost) and when I told the CO by the doors leaving the building to have a nice night he snorted at me. If you can't respond like a human just don't respond then!

Both Saturday and Sunday night the ending time CO strip searched Mike, which may be normal procedure (I don't know) but has never happened during any prior visits for us there. And I've been led to believe (but not verified) that he was the only one strip searched. And I know I shouldn't, but I feel like that is a reflection on me...like I've done something wrong because we were the only "couple" visiting. I told Mike maybe he wanted to see his hard-on...

Then Monday my goal was to get up super early and leave by 6am to get back in time for my 4pm & 6pm classes. Well, I usually pack the night before but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I don't know if I was trying to deny that I was leaving already or what. So I got up at 6am and still had to pack. I left the hotel around 7am-ish and drove by the prison as I was leaving and then I lost it. So I opted to stop and eat breakfast instead of getting immediately on the road. By this time I figured I was going to miss my 4pm class anyways and I had decided to give Mike enough money to order his TV so he has it before things get more out of hand with the no smoking, lack of money due to higher store costs, etc. so I figured I would go and get the money order and drop it off at the prison before I left town. So I did that and when I went to drop it off at the front desk is when I'm told that the guy just pulled the drop boxes less than 5 mins before I walked in. They wouldn't let me leave the money. I was pretty emotional and very pi$$ed off so I left. I should have asked to speak with the assistant warden or something but I didn't so then I was mad at myself. About 15 mins later Mike called and I told him what happened and that I was just getting out of town, blah blah blah. He informs me that I must have just missed him because he was in there being transported after working on the hill in the kitchen that morning and he thinks we missed one another by less than 90 secs. So I was upset over that, not that either of us knew, but you know... He is upset because I'm upset and because I couldn't drop off the money order and when I said "I guess I should have asked to speak with the Assistant Warden or something" he tells me I should have and he doesn't understand why I didn't and then my phone dropped the damn call. And figuring he would call back, I was ticked because he didn't. He called back like 5 hours later. Then he said he would call me later that night to make sure I got home okay and then I never heard from him until Wednesday. Then the connection was crap and I couldn't hear anything but static the last 3 mins of our "conversation" and then he hung up and I haven't heard from him since.

I think I may have set this visit up to suck from the start because it was the first time I decided to go for a visit and wasn't excited about it. It was weird... And I didn't really get over it and each day when I was going in to visit I had horrible anxiety. It was all kind of strange for me. I wish I knew why all of this happened, but I don't know why yet.

On top of all of that my family is having some serious issues and they keep getting worse and worse. And I can't solve it and it just keeps snow balling out of control.

I'm super stressed with family, home, school, work. And there are not enough minutes, hours in the day; days in the week; weeks in the month; months in the year...

Yesterday I really "needed" to talk to Mike and he didn't call, so that has bummed me out a lot and I still haven't heard from him today.

I apologize as this post really sux. I think I'm hormonal, exhausted and just super stressed. I went and got a facial today and now I think I'm going to lay down for a nap. LOL

Tballa...thanks for listening as I think you are the only one reading this. LOL
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  #58  
Old 10-25-2008, 02:15 PM
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Oh yeah...I almost forgot this lovely part... On my ride home Monday it rained the entire way. I stopped in Flint at Sonic's and my low tire pressure light came on and I had to go to a Belle Tire to learn that all 4 of my tires were 7lbs low in pressure. The guy tells me that I need to have them checked so often and I told him I just had them checked on 10/8 when I got my oil changed.

The next day my girlfriend from school emailed me a Detroit Free Press article talking about tires on 2007 Ford models having a questionably faulty valve system. They are checking to see if this will push them to do a recall. UGH....

This little diversion cost me an additional hour on the road and I didn't make either one of my classes!
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:26 PM
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I would not only write to the warden but you know those cards they have at the front desk, don't they go to Lansing? Can you cc: your letter to someone in Lansing? You need to find out. There is no reason to treat people so poorly!
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:35 PM
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I would think so momto5...someone in Lansing. Shoot maybe I'll reach for the top and send it to the top dog for MDOC! Good idea! Thanks!

BTW, Mike called tonight, finally, and when I asked him how his week was he tells me how busy he has been and that he just didn't have time to call me. HUH??? I know I'm a bit sensitive right now and really tired and a bit hormonal, but seriously? He has been too busy to call?! Whatev!

Then he tells me his idiot mom sent him the money he asked for 2+ months ago...you know the same amount of money I sent him this week that I couldn't drop off last Monday. But he hasn't received my money order yet and says, "Isn't that great my mom sent that money?" Yeah, just great. She couldn't have done it before I sent the damn money? And lets not act like she did something so great, she did it out of guilt...

And the kicker is someone is holding our mail...I've gotten one envelope from him so far this month, which is very unusual and he says he has mailed me more letters/envelopes than this, that he is out of envelopes until Friday, and that he hasn't received anything that I've sent him in over a week. WTF? I feel like we are being investigated or something. Also, one of the envelopes I sent him almost 2.5 weeks ago was rejected. I don't understand how... I printed out the 40 page public act that had the info about the store surcharge and I mailed it in 4 envelopes. Envelope #1 pages 1-10; Envelope #2 pages 11-20; Envelope #3 pages 21-30; and Envelope #4 pages 31-40. They let envelopes 1, 3 & 4 through and rejected envelope #2 claiming it was too many pages for them to review. WTF? First of all, it is the same amount of pages in the 3 other envelopes you "reviewed" and approved. Second of all, it isn't hand-written documents, it is a public act~~your public act~~what the hell is there to review?

Mike thinks this added scrutiny is because he is working in the kitchen now (it appears a lot of people get fired in their kitchen up there) and a week after he started in there I came up to visit... I don't know. What do you guys think?
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:06 AM
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Print it and mail it again, that's what I'd do. You'll never prove they're holding it and investigating it but you can write up a very polite, well written letter about how badly people were being treated in visits.

I'd really touch on the other people who were treated badly because then it doesn't appear like a "whoa is me" or "everybody is picking on my because my man is in prison" letter. You could stress that it is very important that these man have contact from friends and family because keeping support systems intact will help them remain out of prison when they eventually are released and how important it is that they keep in touch with the outside world so that they don't become institutionalized and unable to be productive citizens in the future.

You go girl!
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:46 AM
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I'm not done reading but I've only got 20 minutes to get ready for church. You call the warden on Monday (tomorrow) and make your complaints heard about how they treated the visitors and you are a taxpayer and you pay their salaries and you haven't committed any crimes. Then you send a letter to Lansing and issue your complaints. You know I'm always here for you, so call me and vent!!!!
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:59 AM
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I normally agree with what Tballa says but in this instance, I would write a letter today and drop it in the mail on Monday, priority even. Your letter can be proofread. You won't loose your cool and get overly emotional. You wouldn't forget to say something or say something you later wish you wouldn't have said. You can also cc: you letter to as many people as you want. In fact, I would cc: it to people in Lansing so the warden knows it is being done. Specifically say you would like a reply to your letter. You want acknowledgement not for it to be filed away.

You are a taxpayer, you do deserve to be treated properly and so does every other person who goes to visit that facility. But, you don't want to cause problems for Mike. Be concerned and firm. That's my theory.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:33 AM
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Thank you ladies. You are the best! I feel better today and I slept till 10:40am, so I'm sure that is half of my problem....
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:07 PM
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I normally agree with what Tballa says but in this instance, I would write a letter today and drop it in the mail on Monday, priority even. Your letter can be proofread. You won't loose your cool and get overly emotional. You wouldn't forget to say something or say something you later wish you wouldn't have said. You can also cc: you letter to as many people as you want. In fact, I would cc: it to people in Lansing so the warden knows it is being done. Specifically say you would like a reply to your letter. You want acknowledgement not for it to be filed away.

You are a taxpayer, you do deserve to be treated properly and so does every other person who goes to visit that facility. But, you don't want to cause problems for Mike. Be concerned and firm. That's my theory.
I do agree to send a letter, but those don't always get addressed back. So I would call the warden and calmly explain what happened on your visit to the both of you and to the others and just state your concerns. You can even let the warden know that none of this happened the last time you were up there, so you know it's not the norm and you were concerned.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:47 PM
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That's a good point. I was just thinking if I felt brushed off it would be hard to keep a calm tone to my voice and continue to sound educated (even though I am). I might get snippy.
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  #67  
Old 10-26-2008, 02:40 PM
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I think I'm going to write a letter, send it and then follow it up with a phone call if I don't get a response. How does that sound?

Is it too much to cc the director, Patricia Curoso? Should I cc Mike on there too? He wants a copy of the letter, but should I tell the Warden that I'm sending it to him by cc'g him on the bottom?

This is the letter:

Dear Warden Capello:

I am writing this letter regarding some concerns I have that arose during my last trip to your facility to visit my ex-husband on October 17, 18 and 19, 2008. I wanted to bring such concerns to your attention in the hopes that these items are addressed in the future with your staff.

I previously visited Baraga during the summer, July 25, 26 and 27, 2008. And with the exception of one incident I had a wonderful time. I found the staff to be the most pleasant staff I had ever encountered at a MDOC facility. Your correctional officers and others always treated me and others there with the utmost respect, acknowledged us anytime they crossed paths with us and made us feel like humans. I was so impressed I even bragged about the professionalism of your staff and how wonderful they were to everyone I knew and even complemented the staff by sending in a positive evaluation card to Lansing which I figure is rare, especially these days.

The only incident I had during my summer visit was when one of your female COs made me go and wash off my perfume as it offended her sense of smell. I found it odd as she was the only CO that performed a pat-down on me the day before and the day after and never commented on my perfume, which was the same scent, applied at the same amounts and locations, except that Saturday afternoon. I wrote it off as either a bad day for her or a showing of control to make sure I knew who was in charge. I let the matter go and moved on in life, as it was so inconsequential. Even when my ex-husband was being encouraged out in the yard to file a grievance we both agreed that it was an insignificant issue. Outside of this incident, I had not been happier visiting even though it is a nine-hour drive one way for me to visit.

When I planned my last trip of the year to visit, I knew one of the things I did not have to worry about was how the personnel at Baraga would treat me. When I entered your facility I could tell something had changed, employee moral was definitely lower than three months earlier. I know from my own work experience that the current financial crisis, along with the other stressors that come with this national crisis, has shifted employee moral to the lower end of the spectrum these days. I tried to make sure I was as pleasant with everyone I came across, as I was three months earlier, because even a smile can change your day as you are working your shift. The longer I was there, the better everyone seemed and I felt like I was back at the Baraga facility I came to know back in July until the last half of my visit Friday night (October 17, 2008) when the switch between COs in the visiting room took place. The gentlemen who was assigned to the visiting room from approximately 6:15pm through to the end of visiting at 8:30pm was not happy that he had to be in the visiting room with us as Michael and I were the only two individuals in there. He questioned me how long I planned on staying and implied he was not happy when I told him to the end of visiting hours by blowing his breath. I found this rude and inconsiderate. I was later informed he made sure that my ex-husband was aware that he was not happy when he stated, “I thought she was never going to leave.”

I understand that it probably is not the most exciting place to be in a room watching over inmates and visitors for over two hours, but I do not believe we should be made to feel bad over visiting and surely, an inmate should not be made to feel bad because his loved ones cared enough to spend good money to drive over nine hours one way to come and visit for four and a half hours. It is not like the Level I inmates at Baraga are allowed to have the benefits allowed to other Level I inmates within the system and have full day visits. Staff members there do not face visiting situations similar to what the Cooper Street Correctional Facility does with close to a hundred visitors in and out for a period of ten and a half hours every Saturday and Sunday. Level I inmates at Baraga are given less visiting time on a Saturday or Sunday than other Level I facilities have during a weekday. Further, I suspect that there are not daily visits at Baraga like there are at other Level I facilities, so for a CO to act like two and a half hours out of his week to cover the visiting room is such an imposition is uncalled for in my book. And for that CO to make sure both the inmate and their visitor is aware that he finds the situation unbearable and beneath him is rude and disrespectful. I would hate the idea of other family members, especially children of the inmates at Baraga, having to experience this.

Unfortunately, the attitude of the COs assigned to the visiting room for those last two and a half hours did not improve as the weekend continued. There appeared to be a huge delay in getting visitors (all 7) processed, in to the visiting room and getting our loved ones (all 3) up to see us on Saturday, which short changed children over 30 minutes of visiting time to spend time with their fathers. The biggest problem surfaced when the other two families had bought photo tickets to memorialize the visits between the fathers and their children. For some unknown reason, the inmate in charge of taking pictures did not come to the visiting room so the assigned CO had to fulfill this duty. He had such an obviously poor attitude about this turn of events and so openly displayed it that even one of the families offered to forego their pictures until they visited the next day upon which the CO replied, “I can’t do that because she (pointing to the other woman with a toddler) wants pictures too.” This woman was reduced to practically apologizing because she wanted a family picture. I found that the COs reaction to having to use a Polaroid camera to take pictures was insensitive to the family members, especially the children that were present.

As we both know, it is very important that these men have contact from friends and family because keeping a support system intact will help them remain out of prison when they are eventually released. In order to be productive citizens in the future and avoid becoming institutionalized it is critical that these men keep in touch with the outside world. When their loved ones travel hours, spend gas money, money on a hotel, meals, etc. to visit them as often as they can to see them treated so poorly by MDOC employees is disheartening.

When I compare my two experiences in the visiting room at your prison, July versus October, it is like looking at night and day. The COs assigned in July never implied or even appeared upset that they were made to work the visiting room, they never made family members feel like they were imposing on the COs time or duties. They were friendly and treated people like they were human, even including the inmates that were in the room, and yet the rules were followed and safety and order were maintained. And comparing the children that were in the visiting room in July to the children that were in the visiting room in October, you could tell they felt a difference too because in July the room was filled with laughter being shared between the children and their father and that did not happen in October, which is saddening.

I appreciate your time in reading my concerns and hope something can be done for future visits because it just breaks my heart to think that other family members and inmates would be subjected to the attitudes that I witnessed during my recent visit. I look forward to receiving your response to my concerns in the near future.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

What do you all think?
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:30 PM
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I think it is excellent. I see nothing I would change.

Since you asked, I probably would not cc Mike, I would just mail it to him. I would definately cc it to Patricia Caruso and anyone else you can think of.
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  #69  
Old 10-26-2008, 03:33 PM
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Where would I find a list of Lansing people?
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:20 PM
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I don't know, maybe we should snoop around the michigan.gov website and see what we can find. Unfortunately, I can't help until morning.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:35 PM
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J - Excellent letter, very well written and to the point...now let's hope it helps!!
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:49 PM
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Excellent letter, very well written!!!! I would also send it to Barbara Sampson, so a letter is put into his file for the parole board to see. This may help you decide who to address to (I couldn't find names though):

http://www.michigan.gov/corrections/...4147--,00.html

The Structure MDOC Departmental Overview Presentation The Michigan Department of Corrections is one of the principal state departments. Final responsibility for operation of the department rests with the Governor who appoints the Director, with the advice and consent of the state Senate. The Director serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The Director has full power and authority in the supervision and control of the department's affairs and is its chief administrative officer.

Beneath the Director are the following Administrations headed by Deputy Directors:

Correctional Facilities is responsible for the operation of all prisons and camps, including the Special Alternative Incarceration program (SAI - boot camp), the reception and classification process and treatment and transfer of prisoners who are housed in a prison or a camp.
Also within this administration are Michigan State Industries and the Bureau of Health Care Services.

Field Operations is responsible for state probation and parole supervision. It also oversees Community Residential Programs and the Michigan Parole Board. Field Operations is divided into two regions -- the Metropolitan and Outstate regions -- and each is headed by a regional administrator.
The Operations Support Administration is responsible for all internal organizational support within the department.
The Planning & Community Development Administration is responsible for the Research and Planning, Offender Reentry and Community Corrections offices.

In addition to these Administrations, the following units also report to the director:

The Office of Public Information and Communication is responsible for media inquiries and requests for information, news releases and internal communications.
The Office of Legal Affairs has a number of functions. One is to evaluate the department's internal accounting and administrative control system. It audits administration of programs and operations and makes recommendations. It coordinates, in cooperation with the Michigan State Police, the investigation of possible criminal or administrative violations of laws or rules by department employees. The Litigation and Freedom of Information Act Section directs the efforts needed to deal with lawsuits filed against the MDOC and involves coordination with the Attorney General's office. The office also oversees the unit that enforces state jail rules and reimburses county jails for housing prisoners who otherwise would have come to prison.
The Grievance and Appeals Section investigates and responds to prisoner grievances.
The Bureau of Human Resources contains the offices of Equal Employment Opportunity, Training and Recruitment, Central Office Personnel and Personnel Services.
The Legislative Liaison provides information to the legislature regarding issues affecting the department.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:01 PM
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I found those titles on the website too but couldn't find names. I wonder if I just send it to the "Deputy Director, Correctional Facilities", along with Patricia Curoso, if it will be enough.

Is this something we want in his file with the parole board? I don't really know what we want in there.

Thanks for your support ladies!
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:48 PM
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On a different note, Mike called twice today and between all 3 conversations he kept bugging me "what's wrong? why are you so down? what did I do wrong?" I kept telling him just a really stressful week, it wasn't him, I was just down, tired and stressed. When I told him the crazy stuff going on with my brother it still didn't convince him that he didn't do anything wrong. So when he called tonight he told me he thought about it all day and he just can't come up with anything he did wrong. LOL I laughed and he said that is all he needed to hear! So I asked him if he wanted me to let him go since he heard all he needed to. Even in my darkest moments that man makes me love him even more... Sometimes to the point it hurts...

Have a great Monday my faithful readers of this thread!
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:14 AM
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I would be scared to put stuff in his file because the parole board could deem him or you a trouble maker. My guy wanted his file empty of anything but positive class reports and positive work reports. Nothing else.
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