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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Attitude of Gratitude and the MDOC

Credit: ccpinmich
gratitude

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People"

I would like to extend a big thank you to all of the individuals who got involved on this phone issue by writing letters, making phone calls, showing up to the protest and researching the details that ultimately are in the process of being changed.

There were many who wanted to attend the protest on Tuesday but were unable to due to travel distance, the high cost of fuel and work restraints. Though they weren't there in person, they did what they could in other ways that brought attention to this matter and as a result we received an equal amount of interest from the media which helps tremendously on educating the public as well.

A big thank you to Michael Steinburg of the ACLU for his help and sending and Beile his wonderful legal intern to the protest to support us, Diane Bukowski for her coverage of the protest in the Voice of Detroit and for her future publication of my articles from the Broo and definitely for standing with us in the humidity for half the day! To Barbara Levine and the entire CAPPS organization, members of Mi-Cure, the media who allowed our voices to be heard and last but definitely not least the prisoners who supported this endeavor and sent me the thank you card for fighting for their need to communicate with their families.

A special and most grateful thank you to the Editor and the Writers on Broo, without this "Treasure Trove" the publicity brought to this issue would have been significantly less powerful. The parents, spouses and children involved with a loved one in the system extend their deepest gratitude to this outlet as well. The amount of awareness brought to this issue, directly from this site is immeasurable!

Cher, you are a gem.

It is my hope that what we have worked hard at over the last 30 days, continues to make a difference in the lives of those who struggle through the mental and emotional stress of incarceration and the additional financial burden that the high cost of communication can add to the top of it. It is very promising that the bill passed legislation and has made it in front of the governor, we can only hope that the resolution is a long term resolution and there are no more ambiguous terms, exceptions, justifications or last minute changes.

In closing, I would like to say that it took the collaboration of many people from many walks of life to make this happen, from the head of organizations and legal teams, to the families enduring a loved one in the system- right down to the prisoners themselves, to bring light and justice to all lives that are involved with the DOC. I certainly hope that this action sets the stage for future changes, not only in how the Department moves forward in making promising changes but in how actively we all get involved on important issues as well.

Again, my gratitude to those who were diligent in supporting the families and the prisoners in any way they could.

LDL



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LincolnDidn'tLie is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Attitude of Gratitude and the MDOC

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By LincolnDidn'tLie on July 13, 2011 at 05:53 pm

@ Melody-The village here in this state appears to be getting larger day by day..there is hope for MI, for Benton Harbor(one day I will speak of the horror story that happened to me in BH when I first moved here..WOW!)and the issue around the Catherine Ferguson Academy--don't get me started there...thanks for the comment and it is nice to see another Michigander-even if only by birth!

Cher- TY !

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By Caballero_69 on July 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm

LincolnDidn'tLie,

One of my heroes besides Abe was Bobby Kennedy. I will respond to this great news with a quote,

“Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Congratulations to you and everyone else who acted to improve the lot of others.

Caballero_69

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By LincolnDidn'tLie on July 14, 2011 at 12:35 am

Cabellero,

First thing Wednesday morning, I sent out a mass email thanking many of the people who were involved in some way, from the prisoners family members right up to the Governor's office himself. I then posted that thank you here, so that people on this site would know of my gratitude to them as well. I did this at 9:39 am. This email was gratitude for servitude-basically a "Thank you all for helping, in all the ways you did, I hope it helps. We all fought and now we wait."

I received a return email from a large "prisoner advocacy member" stating, "In your email you indicate that you speak on behalf of thousands of family members. Please let them know that while protesting the bad things is important and great, it is equally (if not more) important to recognize and commend good things. I'm sure those legislators who amended the bill to include reasonable rates (and pull the special equipment costs) would enjoy hearing from those who appreciate their work on this issue."

I read this several times wondering what exactly he was trying to say and if something in my "Attitude of Gratitude" email was less than gracious. Apparently, he felt I did not thank enough of the "top guns" who make the real difference, in a final decision. Like the ones who reviewed the the bill and passed it on to the Governor who had not yet signed anything or the large advocacy agencies(aside from the ACLU)who encouraged our activism but failed to lead us with their wisdom and support. Where were any of these "for the people" before or during our protest? One sent an email the eve of the protest asking why we were even doing it because the legislation already passed the bill(even though the Governor had not yet agreed to anything in writing). I kindly told them, it ain't over til...the official who signs the bill needs to know just how important this is.

In this recent email of gratitude, what this person did not see, was the entire list of recipients blindcopied in the email(he wasn't one of them but his agency was), I started with the Governor(who had not yet signed the bill, but was giving his consideration) and went all the way down a list to the "people at the bottom."

I read his email again, and then responded.

"Dear Sir, There are so many people to thank, from family members all the way to the Governor. It would be quite overwhelming trying to list them each individually within the email. Rest assured that once the bill is signed and the rates are lowered, I have absolutely every intention of passing props onto those who ultimately represent the people of Michigan. Sincerely-"

Just before 11am today, the bill was signed by the Governor. The "special equipment" clause removed. And now, at the end of the night, when all is said and done-the politicians have had their bellies rubbed and the media had their their 5 minutes of "the next story" who do I really feel the most gratitude towards?

Those who may very well be the ones that ultimately represent the people of Michigan, the dozen prisoners who made, signed and mailed me a home-made card stating, "thanks for doing what everyone else only talks about doing."

SB138 Sec 272 Any contract for prisoner telephone services shall impose fee schedules for prisoner telephone calls that are no greater than the fee schedules for standard calls placed by residential users in the area surrounding the correctional facility.

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