Families protest outside prison as virus surges


Families with loved ones in a Mid-Michigan prison voiced concerns Sunday as nearly 700 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I mean it’s scary,” said protest organizer Dylan.

That’s what he had to say the current conditions inside Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis, where his uncle is held.

The michigan department of corrections tells us that this facility holds over 2,000 prisoners and inside those walls, there’s 669 positive cases of COVID-19.

“This is a serious crisis,” Dylan said. “A serious public health crisis and this is just a total failure on the part of the MDOC.”

A failure that he says is equal to a death sentence.

“The death penalty is not legal in Michigan and that is effectively what the MDOC is doing now,” he said.

A protest organized by various community groups including Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity caravanned around St. Louis today to draw awareness to what they say, doesn’t just affect those behind bars.

“Also, now people just living here are at risk,” Dylan said. “It isn’t their fault but now it’s in their backyard too. This is a huge outbreak.”

The MDOC says that the warden and his team have a plan and are working to slow the spread and keep prisoners and staff safe.

But Dylan says the issue is systemic.

“Governor Whitmer and the legislature can take concrete steps to lower the prison population and that is the single most affective thing that they can do to prevent something like this,” he said.

The MDOC also disclosed with us that they have separated inmates by positive and close contact housing units and all units are on limited movement.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE to download the TV5 app.