Detroit man given clemency after risking life to expose corruption inside Michigan prisons
Man hopes for prison reform
DETROIT – The imprisoned son of a Detroit preacher will soon walk out of prison after risking his life to expose corruption inside Michigan prisons in what he called a mission from God.
The inmate's identity has not been released for his protection so we're referring to him as Jimmy. He has been stabbed seven times but said he never lost faith and worked to continue his mission to fight for change within prison.
After more than 30 years behind bars, Jimmy has been granted clemency by former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Clemency shortens his sentence to time served.
"I got so emotional I just broke down and I just cried," Jimmy said.
Jimmy was labeled a prison snitch and was beaten and stabbed multiple times while he was behind bars. After one particular incident, the officers found him in a pool of blood.
"I'm always watching my back," Jimmy said.
He said the prison system should protect inmates who help police by informing on criminal activity inside the prison. He helped the FBI bust corrupt employees and was almost killed for it.
"He kept ringing the bell to say, 'Look, you have to get me out of this prison there are people here who want to take my life,' and those alarms were ignored," Kisha Chaney said.
Chaney is representing Jimmy in a lawsuit against prison officials who she said should have protected Jimmy.
The suit regards "how that was allowed to go on for years and that when people spoke up, that they would be retaliated against," Chaney said.
While Jimmy waits to be released from prison, he is in protective custody. He said the isolation is no reward. It's more like a form of punishment and he has decided to try to make a difference once again for his story to lead to real prison reform.
Jimmy said he became an informant because God wanted him to and that his reward will come in his afterlife. He said the lawsuit is not for his gain, but to lead to a more humane and safe place for the thousands of prisoners he's leaving behind.
"I never let nothing discourage me from doing what God wanted me to do, but I know in the end, God had the last say so of it," Jimmy said.
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