Pilot Program Puts Liaison In Place For Prisoners And Families

DETROIT (WWJ) –  Three Michigan prisons are getting a liaison to help prisoners’ families under a new pilot program at the Michigan Department of Corrections. Spokesman Russ Marlan says family members usually have a lot of questions when prisoners are put behind bars.

“Family members will call any person at the prison, they get transferred several times to the right person to answer their question, that makes them frustrated – creates more work for us,” said Marlan, “so our staff end up answering the same questions over and over again. So I think the idea of having one central person as a liaison is going to be productive for both sides.”

He said families have a lot of questions about telephone calls, visitation, health care, program opportunities and parole questions.

“We did think that it would be useful, would be helpful to prisoner family and friends in getting some of the issues and concerns resolved,” he said.

Lois DeMott will take the role at the Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven, as well as at the prison in Muskegon and a third facility to be announced.

Her salary will be paid through a private foundation grant.

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