Change Making

Cold, Hard, Naked Truth

To start with I would like to take a moment to answer question number 2.IN WHAT WAY HAVE YOU SEEN THE PRISON SYSTEM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PRISONERS GETTING STIMULUS MONEY?

2. Framed as it is, the question is fairly suggestive that there is some type of extortion or misuse of prisoners by the ”prison system”. Being a long term resident of the MDOC of 31 years I want to make clear 1st that while my opinions may appear contradictory to this answer I am about to give to this question. Please keep in mind, for all people I stand on the side of RIGHT, that being (whatever my moral compass and lifes journey has brought me to believe is RIGHT) I am no fan of any injustice of any kind. Nor am I a friend of the MDOC I can confidently say I’m sure the feelings are completely mutual. However I am also neither a fan of big government, although I would be remiss to not acknowledge that this stimulus money is in fact a product of our government functioning as it should.

My personal position clear, let me go back and address what I respectfully consider may be a tough question depending on the audience or gender of prison facility you are asking.  

Being a female I can only address what I observe here in the women’s facility which we all know is only one facility compared to the many male facilities throughout Michigan. I do not speak for that portion of my family in the struggle in the answer I am about to give. Lack of any first hand personal knowledge & information excludes me from being able to speak to what may or may not be taking place in male facilities. I clearly and readily acknowledge that the answer that comes from a mans prison and a male perspective very probably will be entirely different from the answer I will give from my perspective in a women’s prison.  

In this prison the administration is the entity I will assume your question has labeled ”The Prison System” for the purposes of this question. 

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And it is my opinion that to the contrary, this prison administration here at WHVC did nothing to take advantage of prisoners getting the stimulus money. 

Unless of course you are a person who feels like paying your own bills is a form of victimization inflicted upon you by the state. By allowing the MDOC to collect the monies owed to it by the incarcerated person in my opinion is not, was not, nor will ever be a form of taking advantage of the prisoner. For these reasons; 

1. We as prisoners never in a million years would have ever believed that the stimulus packages would apply to us under any circumstances. This is what I call an unexpected blessing. Therefore…

2. Since you did absolutely NOTHING to earn this money except be a person incarcerated, to receive it is free. You may have spent it in commissary, put in catalog orders, put it on your jpay media account or gambled it all away playing tunk. At the end of the day the money gets spent and you get something for it. Even if it is but a fleeting moment of pleasure from your uncontrollable gambling addiction.

3. Perhaps you were one of the many inmates who the state took the stimulus money from to pay for court cost, maybe restitution or the child support you owed. Possibly they took it for that window you kicked out a few years ago, you thought they forgot about ,because YOU forgot about it. (Was that you?) Might it have been a charge for an ambulance ride you had to take because you hurt yourself trying to shoot a move and get your cell switched? 

No matter the reason they took the money here is the cold hard naked truth.  

It was free money and you owed someone something and you HAVE to pay your debts in THIS LIFE.  

Wouldn’t you rather pay the debts with free money vs. money you work for when you get out? Look at it like this, you wouldn’t want to be at the bank with that check in hand and have to decide ”do I pay for the” car/or my tether Fee’s?  

Just keeping it 100, I’ve met enough of you complaining about how hard it is to make it out there financially. So logically the state is not taking advantage of any one here in the women’s prison, not in that respect. Its trying to help people. 

4. To answer this question in its entirety just the opposite I am of the opinion that the prison system is trying to lessen your burdens upon release. And it would be advantageous of everyone to at least attempt to see the good that can come out of this possibility. 

You can’t miss some money you never had, but you can most certainly get locked back up for some bills you failed to pay off from the good old state of Michigan. That advice was for free. Because I love all my ppl.

√√Try just once to offer an alternative way of thinking. Where your mind goes the rest of you follows.√√

–Amy Lee Black 8-2-21

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