Prisoners say soap is being rationed at Muskegon Correctional Facility, posing coronavirus risk


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While the coronavirus has yet to reach Muskegon Correctional Facility, prisoners say they're worried it inevitably will, and that the prison's weekly ration of two hotel-sized bars of soap won't be enough to stop its spread.

That's according to several prisoners interviewed by former Metro Times reporter Curt Guyette, now of the ACLU of Michigan.

MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz told the ACLU of Michigan that the department's policy is to provide soap at no cost whenever requested during the pandemic. However, the prisoners say that has not been the case, and that the two small bars don't last longer than a day given the increase of cleaning.

They also expressed concern about the staff not fully disinfecting the facility, and allege that guards have not been consistently wearing masks and that prisoners aren't being provided them, both violations of the Michigan Department of Correction's stated coronavirus policy.

One prisoner, Quentin X Betty, says he even offered to sew masks using one of the prison's two sewing machines — but officials ignored him.

"What are they waiting on, for someone to perish?" Williams told the ACLU.

That coincides with what prisoner Ray Gray reported in a recent letter to Metro Times, who wrote of prisoner anxiety about the virus at Muskegon Correction Facility.

As of this week, there have been 414 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nine deaths inside Michigan's prisons.

You can read the ACLU report here.

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