University of Michigan marks 25 years of prison art shows with digital gallery
ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan’s Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners is celebrating 25 years with a virtual gallery due to the ongoing health crisis. The annual Prison Creative Arts Project at U-M is now one of the largest exhibitions by imprisoned artists in the world. (University of Michigan - Prison Created Arts Project)Krinitsky said the organization has wanted to expand to a larger audience for some time. (University of Michigan - Prison Created Arts Project)“It was an extraordinary year, although it was some time ago that we visited,” Hamilton said in a release. “Many PCAP artists rely on sales revenue to purchase art supplies as well as things they need for daily living.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office begins vaccinating Washtenaw County Jail population
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – On Monday, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office announced it is now vaccinating incarcerated individuals at Washtenaw County Jail against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Due to their close quarters, those within the jail are susceptible to outbreaks and have the potential to become “community spreaders”, officials said. In a statement, Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton highlighted steps WCSO and its partners have taken during the pandemic to reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the jail. Those entering the jail can receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. WCSO also has an online tracking COVID-19 data within Washtenaw County Jail.
Man on parole speeding 155 mph in Detroit arrested for reckless driving
Police say the man was speeding on the Lodge Freeway near 8 Mile inside of a Dodge Charger. DETROIT – A man on parole was arrested and jailed Friday after speeding 155 mph in a 55 mph driving zone. Police say the man was speeding on the Lodge Freeway near 8 Mile inside of a Dodge Charger. He was arrested for reckless driving and is being held in the Detroit Detention Center while the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office reviews the case. After searching the man’s vehicle police found a loaded handgun inside of it.
Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith faces 21 months in federal prison
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith‘s long-held political sway quickly diminished in 2019 when Michigan State Police troopers raided his office and home for records. Nearly two years later, Smith admitted in a virtual hearing Wednesday to stealing over $74,000 from his campaign fund through two different fraud schemes, officials said. Read: Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith pleads guilty to obstruction of justice, faces prison timeFederal investigators claim Smith brought employees into a back stairwell inside the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office and worked to steer the investigation away from him. I accept my punishment”“Some may view Smith’s conviction as a reason to lack confidence in our elected officials or our prosecutors. Smith’s case is that kind of case.
Michigan governor signs bills to limit incarcerations
LANSING, Mich. – Legislation that allows for alternatives to jail and aims to limit recidivism in Michigan were among the dozens of new laws Gov. Among the measures were 20 based on the recommendations of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration formed in 2019. The task force heard testimony from hundreds of people and reviewed 10 years of statewide arrest and court data after the state’s incarcerated population nearly tripled over four decades. “Despite the challenges 2020 presented, I am proud of the incredible work we have done as a state to reform our criminal justice system,” said Whitmer. “After establishing the bipartisan Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration we were able to make real and meaningful change that will impact the lives of thousands of Michiganders.
Whitmer signs bills aiming to shift away from jail as punishment for traffic offenses in Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer has signed a 20-bill package that aims to shift away from using jail and arrests as punishment for traffic offenses unless someone is a danger to the public. The bipartisan package of criminal justice reform bills resulted from recommendations by the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, according to the state. “I’m extraordinarily proud of our collective work over the last two years to understand and improve the criminal justice system,” Lt. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs a 20-bill package aiming to reshape penalties for traffic offenses on Jan. 4, 2020. The bill package aims to shift people away from jail unless they are a danger to the public.
Bills to limit incarceration advance in Michigan Legislature
One bill focuses on keeping those with minor violations, such as failure to appear in court, out of jail by eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing in certain cases. The repercussions for failing to appear are a heavy burden for many, said Sen. Sylvia Santana, who sponsored the legislation. The Legislature has heard for two years from jail officials and others involved in criminal justice about inefficiencies and shortcomings. The legislation would require a court to promptly notify the state health department when a juvenile is taken into custody for violating certain court orders. Courts would be required to hold a hearing to determine whether a juvenile violated a court order and where to place the juvenile.
Mom gets 6 months in jail; son drowned in Lake Michigan
HOLLAND, Mich. – A woman has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for neglecting to keep an eye on her son who drowned in Lake Michigan. Miranda Rowe, 33, of Spring Lake Township appeared in court Monday. Her 6-year-old, Iain, drowned at Holland State Park on June 6, a day of high waves and warnings. Investigators said her son was unattended for at least 15 minutes while she was in a bathroom. More than 50 people this year have drowned in Lake Michigan in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
Cook County Jail set for in-person voting despite COVID-19 setbacks: ‘It’s also about social justice, it’s about fairness, it’s about hope’
County officials believe the jail may have been the first in the country to operate as a precinct, said Cook County sheriff’s office spokesman Matt Walberg. In the general election, partly as a concession to the pandemic but also due to a smaller population, the jail is set to operate four polling places, three fewer than in the primary.chicagotribune.com
Funeral held for corporal killed in attack at Wayne County Jail
DETROIT – The final farewell to Corporal Bryant Searcy was Friday at Third New Hope Baptist Church on Detroit’s west side. “It’s a challenging time,” said Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Searcy was on duty when he was killed at the Wayne County Jail. Napoleon said if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of residents would have gathered to pay their respects. READ: Hear from daughter of corporal who was killed by inmate at Wayne County JailMore: Detroit crime news
Funeral today for slain Wayne County Sheriff’s Corporal Bryant Searcy
DETROIT – A funeral will be held Friday for Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy Corporal Bryant Searcy. Searcy was killed Sept. 2 while on duty at the Wayne County Jail. Deandre Williams, 28, is accused of attacking Searcy, 50, while the corporal was on duty checking jail cells about 10 p.m. that night. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said Williams was willing to kill the deputy to try to escape. Williams was charged with premeditated murder, murder of a police officer, felony murder and escaping jail through violence.
Jail inmate charged with first-degree murder in deadly attack on Wayne County Sheriff’s corporal
DETROIT – An inmate at the Wayne County Jail has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder in connection with the deadly attack on Sheriff’s deputy Corporal Bryant Searcy. Searcy was found unresponsive by other deputies at the Wayne County Jail. “He (Searcy) was viciously assaulted by one of the inmates,” said Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon during a news conference after the attack. “It has been almost a week since the horrific murder of Corporal Bryant Searcy and it is still very raw. This case is a tragic example of this reality,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
Wayne County Jail had series of issues before fatal attack, union head says
DETROIT The head of the Wayne County Deputy Sheriffs Association said there were long-running issues that led to the loss of one of their own. Bryant Searcy, 50, was fatally attacked as he was checking to make sure cells at the Wayne County Jail were locked for the night. The attack happened Wednesday night at the Wayne County Jail Division 2 building. Union president Reginald Crawford said short-staffing has been a major problem for the 100-year-old jail where the attack happened. Searcy was working a second shift, a double shift, 16 hours.A 16-hour shift is the norm for jail guards.
Troubling details emerge in fatal attack on Wayne County corporal killed by inmate
DETROIT – The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is in mourning over the loss of one of their own. Bryant Searcy, 50, was fatally attacked as he was checking to make sure cells at the Wayne County Jail were locked for the night. The attack happened Wednesday night at the Wayne County Jail Division 2 building. Police said Searcy checked the lock on a violent offender who has a long history of armed robberies and carjackings. “He (Searcy) was viciously assaulted by one of the inmates,” said Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
Wayne County Sheriff’s corporal dies after attack inside jail
DETROIT – A 50-year-old Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy corporal has died after being assaulted Wednesday at the Wayne County Jail in Downtown Detroit, the Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement Thursday morning:It is with heartfelt sadness and deep regret that the Wayne County Sheriff's Office announces the passing of Corporal Bryant Searcy. Daniel Pfannes, Undersheriff Wayne County Sheriff's OfficeWayne County Executive Warren Evans released the following statement:“Our thoughts and prayers are with Corporal Searcy’s wife, Sherry, and their daughter during this horrific time. A full investigation is underway, both internally by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and by the Detroit Police Department’s homicide unit. The attack on and homicide of Corporal Searcy is a jarring reminder of the danger the men and women in law enforcement face on every shift.”
Whitmer order requires COVID-19 testing in Michigan prison, jails
Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Saturday requiring jails and prisons to test inmates for COVID-19 when they enter, transfer from or are released from their facilities. The order also requires jails to adopt testing protocols comparable to those at the Michigan Department of Corrections before they can transfer prisoners to state facilities. By reducing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, we protect corrections officers and their families, incarcerated people, and the whole community, Whitmer said. The state will provide support for testing by jails through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, it said. The order was issued as the Department of Corrections deals with 435 active COVID-19 cases, its largest spike since the spring.
Judge: Michigan teen jailed over homework released from probation
PONTIAC, Mich. A suburban Detroit judge who sent a 15-year-old girl to a juvenile detention facility for not doing her homework released the teen from probation on Tuesday, after an appeals court ordered her release. The girl was placed on probation in April in a case involving allegations of assault and theft, and had been in Oakland Countys Childrens Village since May for violating that probation, according to ProPublica. Brennan said a Michigan Court of Appeals decision July 31 ordering Graces release from Childrens Village effectively tied the lower courts hands. Among the requirements of her probation, Grace was expected to complete her schoolwork. Brennan initially cited a failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school for her decision to place the teen in juvenile detention.
Michigan’s ban on evictions, protections for jail inmates extended
DETROIT – Michigan’s ban on evictions amid the coronavirus pandemic has been extended until June 30. UPDATE June 26, 2020: Michigan’s ban on evictions extended until July 15On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-118 to extend the duration of protections for tenants and mobile home owners from being evicted from their home until June 30. Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-119 to extend protections for vulnerable populations in Michigan’s county jails, local lockups and juvenile detention centers until July 9. The order also allows local officials more flexibility in releasing vulnerable populations who do not pose a threat to public safety.
Former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan to be released Wednesday
HOWELL, Mich. Former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan was originally scheduled to be released from jail June 25, but is being released early due to good behavior. RELATED: Former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan turns herself in for jail sentenceBrennan had been sentenced to six months in jail, 18 months of probation and 200 hours of community service after being removed from the bench and prohibited from seeking the same office for six years by the Michigan Supreme Court. I said right from the beginning, she would be treated the same as any other inmate, Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy said. That is exactly what we have done.The charges against Brennan included misconduct in office, conduct clearly prejudicial to the administration of justice, and failure to respect and observe the law. The misconduct in office and tampering with evidence charges against Brennan were dropped as part of her plea.
Actress Lori Loughlin, husband plead guilty in Varsity Blues case
Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their two children to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits, the U.S. Attorneys Office District of Massachusetts announced Thursday. Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, both of Los Angeles, Calif., will plead guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton on a date to be specified by the Court. Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Loughlin and Giannulli are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions, said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
Civil rights groups sue Oakland County Jail for immediate release of people during pandemic
OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – On Friday, several civil rights and racial justice groups filed a federal lawsuit calling for the release of medically vulnerable people inside the Oakland County Jail, arguing that county officials are risking the lives of everyone inside and the community at large. Naming Oakland County, its Sheriff, Michael Bouchard, and Commander of Corrective Services Curtis D. Childs, the lawsuit filed by Advancement Project National Office, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU), Civil Rights Corps (CRC), LaRene & Kriger P.L.C. and the Law Firm of Pitt, McGhee, Palmer and Rivers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, argues that Oakland County officials are violating the constitutional rights of people in the jail by exposing them to an unnecessary risk of infection, illness or death during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wayne County jail employee tests positive for COVID-19
WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – An employee for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office tested positive for coronavirus Thursday, a county official announced Friday. Wayne County officials said they have only one confirmed case, but have three potential others being tested. How COVID-19 spreadsPerson-to-person spreadThe virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. How easily the virus spreadsHow easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily.