THE MICHIGAN OA14Y
rNdnsc3ycrrib6r 8, 1971
Page Six 'IFIE MIQIIc3AN 1~AUPY W~driesddy, Dec~n'ber S, 1 ~7 I
Jackson State warden tells
about rehabilitation problems
By JIM1 NICOL
In the midst of continuing
controversy over prison reform,
Perry Johnson - warden of
Jackson State Prison--described
prison problems based on his
experience at the Lutheran Stu-
dent Chapel Sunday night.
Johnson discussed both inter-
na and external conditions
which he indicated did not con-
tribute to general rehabilitation
at the prison.
When asked if he thought all
prisoners could be rehabilitated,
Johnson, answered, defended the
prison system. "I don't think
we - know enough about human
behavior to make that state-
ment," he said, "We can iso-
late our dangerous prisoners.
The mere presence of a prison
is a deterrent to potential crimi-
to be 'colony
WASHINGTON (P - Prime
Minister Pierre Trudeau reported
yesterday that President Nixon
wants Canada to shape her future
on her own, and not as "a colony
of the United States of America."
Nixon's assurance emerged as a
central theme in the Canadian's
account of his Moday White
House visit-the first of Nion's
five such sessions with allied lead-
es in advance of his trips to
Peking and Moscow.
Trudeau tolds a news confer.
ence Nixon had made "a fantas
tically new statement" for anU.S.
president on America's long range
intent toward her northern neigh-
Canadians recurringly are wor-.
ied about being lost in the sha-
dow of the U.S., particularly in
the field of economics.
"The President said some things
which to me are unequaled by
any other president in speaking
about Canada," Trudeau related.
He said Nixon's assurances
were "certainly. satisfactory to me
that the United States not only
wants to respect our political iden-
tity but our eonomic identity."
He reported that Nixon had
compared Canada's aversion to
dependence on U.S. investment to-
slay with U.S. dislike after World
War I of American dependence on
"We understand perfectly that
the Canadians are in the same
poition, Trudeau quoted Nixonyas!
saying, "and we will do every-
thing to prevent them from not
feeling in a way that they are a
Glony of the United States of
Trudeau spoke of the Nixon
assurance as the main "break-
through" from his White House
conference. He offered few details
on specific issues which he said
are still under discussion between
lower-level U.S. and Canadian of-
An important Canadian goal in
the economic field in removal of
the 10 per cent U.S. import surtax
which Nixon imposed last August
in his emergency program to im-
prove the sagging U.S, balance of
nals. I don't think that the pri-
sons are a deterrent to the pri-
soners that are already in
Johnson admitted that the
"predatory homosexual" is the
most serious danger to the pri-
son population. He said that 75-
80 per cent of all prison stab-
bings were related to violent
As for alternatives to pri-
sons, Johnson suggested an al-
ternative to prisons which
would be somewhere between
probation and prison.
He cited a two-year-old pro-
gram called Community Center
Placement, in which a nan ac-
tually serves his prison sentence
back in the community in hous-
ing approved and supervised
by prison officials. "I feel that
this is a reasonable alternative
to the prison system," he said.
Johnson spoke briefly about
sgregation, or placement in iso-
lation, of "dangerous" prisoners.
He said men weresegregated be-
cause the constituted a "threat
to the order and security of the
Johnson refused to comment
on the reasons for Rainbow
People's Party leader John Sin-
clair being in segregation at
When asked if capital punish-
mient is a deterrent to crime,
Warden Johnson answered, "In
the state of Michigan, we've
never had an operational death
He said the only possible jus-
tification for capital punish-
ment would be if it could be
absolutelydemonstrated that a
substantial number of lives
have been saved by the execu-
In the area of vocational and
academnic pursuits, Johnson re-
ported that about 1,700 of Jack-
son's 5.200 prisoners are involv-
ed in some sort of schooling. As
far as vocational pursuits go,
Johnson sees a need to totally
revam~p the facilities for voca-
tional training at Jackson.
"Just this last month, we
started experimenting with a
project of busing trustee~divi-
sion inmates to Jackson Junior
College at night when the vo-
cational training facilities are
not used by public school stu-
dents, he said.
"We're busing about 75 men
and we have just gotten started.
I think it's a trend in the right
direction because even if we do
update our own vocational
training, we cant possibly stay
abreast of things as the years
go by and we can't offer the
variety that a public education
facility can. So this is one way
of availing ourselves of a much
broader training facility."
Johnson discussed counselor
services, at the prison, saying
presently they were less than
"If you divide the number of
counselors into the number of
men, the case load is about 250
now. I will say that about 15
per cent get the kind of coun-
selor service they should have.
As soon as we can add the Add-
ed positions, we're going to im-
prove it much more than, let's
say, 30 per cent."
Johnson said that because
Jackson is so large disciplinary
procedures have to be fairly for-
mal. About a year ago, a prison-
er - advocate system was im-
plemented at the prison. The
system calls for the members
of the staff to be assigned as
advocates for the prisoners on
a rotating basis, a first in any
In the area of employment
for prisoners, Johnson said he
fels that there is a definite
lack of meaningful work for
meaningful pay for the pris-
"We have about 500 chronic-
ally unemployed men in Jack-
son. We have under-employed a
good many more than that.
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