My name is Henry N. Harper Jr. I am a prisoner serving a parolable second-degree life sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). I’m a 71-year-old man who has been incarcerated in excess of 43 years. I’m writing this letter to shine some light on the unbridled ritual of the MDOC to unnecessarily warehouse their prisoners.
For years, the MDOC has made it a habit of warehousing weak, frail, low-risk, sick, ailing, elderly and non-dangerous prisoners. Prisoners who are no longer able or apt to become a potential risk of causing any kind of harm, danger or injury to anyone in this lawful, peaceful and democratic society.
Like myself, many elderly prisoners, with no help, have made a conscious effort to change, grow and develop far above and beyond the destructive mistake that led us to prison. We are now able to improve upon our choices and lifestyle for the future.
The state is too focused on their negative fantasies of us. They don’t see the positive efforts we’ve made over the years in incarceration. They ignore all of our gains and constructive effort, while calling us menaces to society as they continue to warehouse us.
Case in point: I was denied the liberty of a parole in 2012 because I had not completed certain classes/programs offered within the MDOC penal system. Yet, each time I attempted to enroll or enlist into one of these classes or programs, I was told a request had to first be initiated by the MDOC, RGC or the parole board in order for me to be enrolled. Which essentially means that the deck is stacked against me!
Oh, I have already been to several prison libraries and checked out many of the self-help books on the subject matter of these classes and programs. But my studies can not be accredited. So I just have to wait for the parole board to let me take the classes, however long it may be.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Henry N. Harper