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November 12, 1982 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-12
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9

enactment of Proposal B in 1978. The
proposal eliminated "good time" for
prisoners, requiring them to serve at
least their minimum sentences beforee
being eligible for parole.
Ln an effort to relieve the problem,
the state approved the controversal
Emergency Powers Act of 1980. The act
allows the governor to declare a state of
emergency in Michigan prisons,
slashing 90 days from the sentences of all
state prisoners not serving life or flat
sentences.
The state has been forced to use-the
act three times-in May of 1981, May of
1982, and August of 1982. The moves
have resulted in the early release of
more than 2,200 prisoners who had 90 or
fewer days left in their sentences.
The act, officials said, is the reason
why Michigan was the only state whose
prison population dropped between 1980
and 1981, while the overall number of
prisoners in federal and state prisons
jumped 12.1 percent.
But are prisons, even the progressive
ones, the right approach to use when
dealing with minimal offenders.
Hall thinks half-way houses and
restitution programs-prisoners
working off their debt to their vic-
tims-might be the answer. But he
realizes that, at this point, prisons can-
not be altogether eliminated.
"You can't tear the walls down.
That's no answer because you've got
people in here that are extremely
dangerous. On the other hand, you've
got peple in here who if you let them go
tomorrow, you're probably safer with
them than you are perhaps with some
people who are living out there in the
community. But nobody can look inside
the minds of these people and decide
who's who." -
Others advocate reorganizing the
sentencing system. "There's quite a bit
of disparity in sentencing in our state,"
Foultz declared. For example he says;
the impact of the crime on the com-
munity should not play a role in senten-
cing. In a small, northern town, Foultz
explained, a person convicted of
homocide would probably get a longer
sentence than if the crime had occurred
in a larger, metropolitan area.
Edgren expands on Foultz's claim.
"The criminal justice system is an in-
tense reflection of what our society is,"
she says, recalling that upon a visit to a
state system, she realized that a
majority of the inmates were young,
black males. "If you're a young black
man, our society is saying to you, 'Too
bad. You don't fit.' It perpetuates a
racist and classist society."
Edgren argues that police are ex-

tremely subjective in deciding who they
bring in for questioning and what
neighborhoods they decide to patrol.
For example, she says, in a well-to-do
neighborhod, when someone is stopped
for drunk driving, often a policeman
will just escort him hem rather than
make an arrest. "At every step along
the way there is discrimination."
Marc Mauer, community relations
director for the American Friends Ser-
vice Committee, says he thinks the sen-
tences handed out today are too harsh.
"Giving out 10, 20, and 50 years casually,
as a lot of courts do, is virtually
unheard of in a lot of other societies,"
he says.
Harsher sentencesd don't serve as a
deterrent to crime, he says. "You can
hold the threat of capital punishment
over someone's head, but as long as we
have the kind of poverty and unem-
ployment that we have, it's a natural
breeding ground.. . Until we deal with
some of those causes, we're just fooling
ourselves."
Determinate sentencing is often cited,
as the answer to disparity. In Min-
nesota, a "grid" formula is used to
determine a prisoner's sentence, taking
a convict's past criminal record and
current offense into account. Mauer
says he thinks some corrections of-
ficials use the argument of phasing out
the older institutions to rationalize
building new ones.
"It's just a way of getting more
prisoners into the system," says
Mauer. If the new facilities really are
going to be used as replacements, he
says, it should be written into the same
legislation that the older ones will be
closed.
Hall has an even more basic problem
with the system. It begins, he says,
before the prisoner even gets to prison.
"I think too many people are sent to
prison who don't need to be sent to
prison. A lot of people need a closely
controlled environment, but it doesn't
necessarily have to be a prison.,,"
"They (inmates) have to learn what I
call 'expectation behavior.' You walk
down the street and you expect not to
be molested. If I violate your expec-
tations, then something has to be done
with me.I have to learn to respect your
expectations."
"What can you do in a prison?
Negative reinforcement doesn't help
anybody. You can control their
behavior while you've got them right
there but as soon as you let them go,
they're gonna go right back to the way
they were."
Fannie Weinstein is a Daily staff
writer.

V
I

COVER STORY
Prisoninage 1
Huron Valley isn't so much a prison as it is a
correctional facility. But do the institute's plans for
rehabilitating inmates work, or does the campus-
style buildings provide only a comfortable place to
pass time? Cover photo by Brian Masck.
MU SIiC

1VIVJ1\~

Good times

Men at work come all the way from Austr
to entertain American audiences, but the
Sisters had an equally difficult trip to succes
will be in concert this weekend.

Page 4
alia just
Pointer
ss. Both

CLASSICS

Old fashioned Page s
The traditional sounds of classical to romantic
music from the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and
virtuoso pianist Lydia Artymiw are both on campus
this coming week.
DISCS
Pop tunes Page 6
Top of the charts popsman Billy Joel has released
an album with music from his darker side, while Hall
& Oates continue their stream of spiffy songs.
THE LIST
Happenings Page 7-10
Your guide to fun times for the coming week in Ann
Arbor, Film capsules, music previews, theater notes,
and bar dates, all listed in a handy-dandy day-by-day
schedule. Plus a roster of local restaurants.

x. fi
;;{x'.
t?
'zi i!
ri '

George Hall: Articulate inmate
some prisoners who abuse the prison's
rehabilitation efforts. "I'm sure that
there are people that will try to beat the
system. Most of them try to beat the
system on the outside and that's why
they're on the inside. I think that could
probably account for your failure rate
in terms of convicts returning to prison.
The individual is still trying to beat the
system."
T HE COST of running a prison is
phenomenal. Huron Valley has an
annual budget of almost $8.6 million. To
maintain Jackson, the state lays out
almost $46 million a year. The annual
price tag of $10,000 for housing each
Michigan prisoner adds up quickly.
"Unless we have more severe cuts,
we'll be able to scrape by this year,"
says Light of the State Department of
Corrections. Already, cutbacks in the
state funds have forced a reduction in
prison staffing. On Nov. 27, 119 correc-
tions officers will be laid off unless their
union agrees to wage reductions, ac-
cording to Light. Although the Depar-
tment of Corrections was forced to lay
off 67 corrections officers last April, all
but three have since been rehired.
The other three have not returned
because they asked for places at the
Muskegon prison where they had been
working, Light says.
The state sees building more prisons
as the solution to its woes. The public
disagrees. In 1980, voters turned down a
ballot proposal which would have in-
creased state income tax from 4.6 to 4.7
percent, with the difference-about
$300 million annually-going to the
Department of Corrections for better
prisons.
The proposal would have allowed the
state to demolish the 100-year-old Ionia
Reformatory, upgrade existing prisons,
and build four smaller, multi-security
regional prisons. These would make it
easier for prisoners to get back into
society according to corrections of-

ficials, because they would gradually
move from maximum to minimum
security in the same facility.
Even without the proposal, con-
struction began last year on a facility in
Plymouth, just east of Ann Arbor. The
state was forced to stop building when
the money ran out, but officials say
they hope to start things up again this
spring, and even begin buildingaa co-ed
prison in Lansing.
"The state of Michigan is in dire need
of additional prisons," says Dale
Foultz, warden at Jackson Prison.
"There's no question that they (prisons
like Jackson and Ionia) are too large to
manage, and the record will reflect
that ... We've got to get out of these
unmanagable situations," he says.
One reason for the overcrowding
problem in Michigan prisons was the

THEATER
Playing around Page 15
Young Peoples Theater does a lot more than simply
putting on plays, but that may be what they do best.
Meanwhile, Musket finally sinks its teeth into a play
with substance.

RESTAURANTS
Central Cafe
Located on Main Str
an intimate atmospher
and a wonderful array
Mexican.

C

Date
rape
To Weekend:
I must disagree with Brian Frumh-
off's fiery letter (Weekend, October 29)
on the date rape article. I do not believe
his letter so much represents the male
viewpoint at the University of Michigan
as it does his own warped perspective.
Why is he so angry? Why does he com-
bine two obviously different groups (i.e.
actual date rape victims as opposed to
sexually aggressive females) and ac-

cuse of them of foul play? I wonder
about his motives for writing.
Admittedly, I can see the conception
of an argument within his tangled logic.
He is expressing concern that if he is
tempted into "casual sex" he may find
himself facing a rape charge. However,
he commits an error by portraying the
average University woman, if indeed
there is an average, as a premeditated
date rape victim, as a person who ac-
tively pursues sex with the intention of
afterwards calling it rape. That is just
not true. What it amounts to is that he is
trying to, accuse the woman of entrap-
ment.
Yet Frumhoff's letter is not quite so
distorted as it is disturbing. His letter is
so biased, so prejudiced, that it ap-

proaches the satiric. For example, his
position on older women: they "know
how to fulfill (their) desires-and
nothing more." He then proceeds to
dehumanize all sex into a business
transaction, an exchange of property
between "advertisers" and "pur-
chasers."
At a time when relations between the
sexes are already strained, and at a
time when the fear of date rape is not
without justification, Mr. Frumhoff's
letter accomplishes nothing. In fact, for
failing to recognize the problem, it is a
step backwards both for him and the
University community.
-Peter Meitzler
November 1
Nov. 1

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Weekend Weekend is edited and managed by students on the Weekend, (313) 763-037
vol.1. issue 8 staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar- Daily, 764-0552; Circulation
Frdoy, November 12, 1982 bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition tising, 764-0554.
Magazine Editor .................Richard Campbell of the Daily every week during the University year
Assistant Editor .......................... Ben Ticho and is available for free at many locations around the Copyright 1982, The Mich
campus and city.
3 W

Prison newspaper:1

bars

14 Weekend/November 12, 1982

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