Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > U.S. REGIONAL FORUMS > MICHIGAN > Michigan Prison and Legal News & Events
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Michigan Prison and Legal News & Events What is making news in Michigan relating to the prison system, the criminal justice system, etc? Find it here!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-09-2002, 11:12 PM
danielle's Avatar
danielle danielle is offline
The Specialist - Surf but be-ware!
 

Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 9,043
Thanks: 4
Thanked 101 Times in 33 Posts
Default Michigan's prison visit rules face Supreme test

Michigan's prison visit rules face Supreme test
By GINA HOLLAND and AMY BAILEY
Associated Press Writers

States' rules for visiting prison inmates will be affected when the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether Michigan's restrictive policy is constitutional, officials said Monday.

At least 11 states -- including Indiana -- are supporting Michigan's appeal of a lower federal court's decision against the state's visitation policy for prison inmates, said Greg Bird, spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm.

The nation's highest court announced Monday it would decide if it's a privilege or a constitutional right for inmates to have visits from young relatives and others.

Since 1995, Michigan has banned visits by some children, taken away visitation privileges from inmates caught twice with a banned substance and prohibited visits from former inmates who aren't immediate family.

The rules also limit the number of visitors prisoners could have to an approved list of 10, limit weekend visits and ended visits that were held outside on prison grounds.

"We set out to create a system that protected children from dangerous predators and maintained security for inmates in and visitors to our prisons," Gov. John Engler said in a Michigan statement. "I am both happy and reassured to know the nation's top court will give Michigan's case a fair hearing."

Indiana, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas are supporting Michigan. Monday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court may encourage others to offer their support, Bird said.

Opponents say Michigan's policy increases prisoners' isolation from families and society and makes them more likely to commit new crimes when they are released.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sided with inmates, ruling that imprisonment doesn't erase a person's First Amendment right to associate with others.

Donna Leone Hamm, director of the Tempe, Ariz.-based prisoner advocacy group Middle Ground, said visitation is too important to inmates' success to be based on a punishment and reward system.

"Visitation makes an extraordinary difference in an inmate's success," she said.

The number of visitors dropped from 800,000 in 1995 to 486,000 in 2000, said Russ Marlan, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections. Between May 2001 and December 2001, 292,760 people visited inmates in Michigan prisons and camps, Marlan said.

The number of visitors during the same period in 2002 increased to 330,398 when the department stopped enforcing its visitation policy after Edmunds overturned it, he said.

Between 1995 and this year, the prison population has jumped from 39,000 to 49,700, he said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of prisoners found to be using drugs in random tests fell from 3.8 percent in 1995 to 0.7 percent this year, Marlan said. Those statistics show the strict visitation policy is helping reduce drug abuse in prisons, he said.

The high court over the years has upheld restrictions on books, packages and visitors at prisons.

The inmates' lawyer argued Michigan had the harshest visitation rules in the country, allowing someone to permanently lose the right to see family members or friends after two drug or alcohol infractions.

"This unique and extraordinarily harsh punishment had a devastating effect on prisoners and their families," attorney Deborah LaBelle said in a filing.

Justices must weigh Michigan authorities' ability to control their prisons against the rights of inmates. States usually win in such cases.

Michigan's rules ban visits from prisoners' minor relatives, like brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. Children and grandchildren are allowed to come to the prison, unless the parental rights have been terminated.

Granholm said that the rules were changed because of many visitation problems, including the molestation of a child during a visit.

Michigan's rules were imposed in 1995 and challenged by a group of inmates, including Michelle Bazzetta, who was convicted in the death of her then-husband's stepmother nearly 20 years ago.

The appeals court said the ban on visitors is cruel and unusual punishment.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here are some of the restrictions on Michigan inmates' rights to have visitors:


Inmates must have an approved list of 10 people, not including immediate family.

No outdoor visits.

No visits by minors, including siblings and cousins of prisoners.

Children may only visit parents in prison if they are with a legal guardian.

Prisoners who have had parental rights terminated are not allowed to see their minor children.

Ex-inmates are prohibited from visiting.

There is a permanent ban on visitors -- except for attorneys and clergy -- for prisoners with two or more substance abuse violations or other serious violations.

Source: Michigan Dept. of Corrections
__________________
Monica Danielle
***********
On September 22, 2003, my better half came home after 657 days in an Alabama prison!!!

And he's now forever free - passing away from this life and into the next - on January 9, 2010.

My Sweet Wayne
January 21, 1954 - January 9, 2010

I'll always love you.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-10-2002, 11:01 AM
petrucci508 petrucci508 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the information
__________________
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-13-2002, 12:27 PM
JodyAnnShaw's Avatar
JodyAnnShaw JodyAnnShaw is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Union Grove, NC, USA
Posts: 8,200
Thanks: 6,768
Thanked 3,876 Times in 2,052 Posts
Default

This was very interesting.... thanks for posting it.

Jodygirl
__________________
Life is a beautiful mess
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-20-2002, 08:08 AM
snowdancer snowdancer is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 718
Thanks: 12
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default There is also a limit

to the visiting. There is a limit of four visits per month. At Baraga Max there is visiting every single day, but they are only allowed four visits per month, which is difficult right now because we have so many family members that want to visit Justin for Christmas. I have to say though, I have been visiting my son every single week now since he has been there and I resent that I have to give up my weekly visits to someone who wants to see him once a year but I guess it is good for him to see someone else's face for a change...

Anyways, just wanted to add that....

Hugs.

Jodi
__________________
The state of Michigan has 17,000 inmates incarcerated beyond their release date. Costing taxpayers 497 MILLION dollars a year. That would fund alot of education! Outraged? Contact your Senators, Representatives and Governor!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Prison Labor - Against Made in the USA MsChiku Ohio Prison & Legal News, Info & Events 4 01-28-2012 02:06 PM
Corrections Health Care News & Articles Ken General Health Care 154 09-28-2007 03:24 AM
Wellington Prison New Zealand Kyla Australia & New Zealand Prison & Jail Discussions 0 09-22-2004 02:42 AM
A Reorganization Plan for Corrections Kathy California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes 9 08-17-2004 02:12 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:24 AM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics