DETROIT – The Michigan Corrections Organization and Michigan Department of Corrections will post signs this month alerting prison inmates across the state of penalties for anyone threatening to injure prison workers by throwing food, feces or bodily fluids.
The endeavor is called the Officer Dignity Initiative, and it warns inmates that the actions warrant a five-year felony sentence.
When inmates throw urine, blood, feces, spit or other unknown substances at employees, correction officers call it being "dressed out." The Officer Dignity Initiative focuses on preventing being "dressed out."
The initiative also addresses inmate sexual exposures to employees for personal or sexual gratification.
"Being 'dressed out' is not something that should ever be considered a part of the job. It is a crime and one that robs our employees of their dignity," MDOC Deputy Director Ken McKee said. "Our staff members need to know that when they are assaulted, we will do everything possible to ensure the case is handled correctly so that it can be turned over to MSP with the goal of seeing a prosecution."
Last fall, MCO and MDOC worked with Michigan State Police and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan to create the initiative.
"The Officer Dignity Video captures all the great work MCO and the coalition did to shed light on the hidden realities and difficulties of corrections work," Andy Potter, MCO vice president and chief of staff, said. "In addition to giving a voice to staff members who have experienced these assaults firsthand, it reminds all employees that someone has their back and what happens to them inside the walls matters."