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Barbara Wieland

About Barbara Wieland

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So far Barbara Wieland has created 102 blog entries.

Meet our new intern, Sonnet Yancey

The year 2020 was a watershed for many people, including Safe & Just Michigan’s new intern Sonnet Yancey, who uses she/they pronouns. Yancey, who is finishing a bachelor’s degree in social work at Michigan State University, came to understand the depth of need for change during the tumultuous summer of 2020, as voices called for [...]

2023-09-28T15:37:04-04:00September 28th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Mental health, Trauma|

Hear some ‘Inside Voices’ – August 2023

Second Look leads to second chances My name is John Halcomb. I am 60 years old. I regret my violent behavior every day as I am reminded through the violence I see in my prison environment. This prison violence, however, began my rehabilitation when it caused me to empathically place myself in my victim's place. [...]

2023 Mid-Year Legislative Status Update

The state Capitol is now in summer mode. Legislators are wrapping up work on their spring projects and getting ready to go back to their communities for their summer in-district work period, which means little action will be taking place in Lansing over the next few months. With that in mind, we thought we’d give [...]

2023-07-11T17:12:02-04:00July 11th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Jails, Juveniles, Lifers, Prison programs, Sentencing|

Meet Safe & Just Michigan’s Policy & Advocacy Manager Jazmine Wells

Something happened to Jazmine Wells on her way to becoming a prosecuting attorney: she visited a jail. Specifically, she visited jail as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan through her participation in a program called Project Community. Project Community is a service learning program housed within the University of Michigan’s sociology department that [...]

2023-06-14T15:44:03-04:00June 14th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Jails, Prison programs|

Meet Zack Whaley, our new communications specialist

The technical aspects of photography, videography, and sound design have always been fascinating to Zack Whaley. He has spent many afternoons casually reading white papers on video compression algorithms or stacked CMOS image sensors. He wants to know every detail about the way a piece of gear works before he feels like he knows how [...]

2023-05-26T09:42:06-04:00May 25th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Crime survivors|

Don’t Throw Away the Key on Michigan’s Youth — Bring Them Home

The Michigan Legislature is considering a proposal to end juvenile life without parole in Michigan. Fully half the states and Washington, D.C., have already taken this step, banning the practice of sending children to prison to die, and another seven states currently have no one serving such a sentence. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court [...]

2023-04-27T14:18:49-04:00April 27th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Courts, Juveniles, Lifers, Parole, Reentry|

Inside Voices – March 2023

Let medically frail go home Some years ago, I read (and saved) a newspaper article that stated a couple of interesting statistics. First, that “Michigan prisons hold about 9,000 prisoners who are at least 50.” Second, that roughly 120 prisoners die each year in the system — “a lot of them bed-ridden” and medically frail [...]

2023-03-30T12:34:15-04:00March 30th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Elderly, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Parole|

April brings Second Chances to Michigan

We use the phrase “second chances” so often in criminal justice reform work that it can sometimes sound like a buzzword. We urge employers to adopt second-chance hiring to give people with a criminal record a chance at a job. The federal Second Chance Act provides grants to nonprofits and agencies that work to reduce [...]

2023-03-30T15:36:36-04:00March 29th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Juveniles, Lifers, Parole, Reentry, Sentencing|

Inside Voices – February 2023

Think twice before demanding Bernstein resignation There’s no mistaking Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein’s Freudian Slip objection to newly appointed Justice Kyra Bolden’s hiring ex-felon Pete Martel as one of her law clerks as racism, bigotry, or discrimination. But calls for Bernstein’s resignation are unwarranted because his outburst isn’t reflective of the “blind justice” [...]

Meet Kenneth Nixon, our new Director of Community Outreach and Partnerships

It’s tragic that Kenneth Nixon’s false conviction cost him 16 years of freedom, but it’s fair to wonder, perhaps selfishly, what it cost everyone else. Since his 2021 release from prison, Kenneth has proven to be a skilled problem solver and coalition builder. As president of the Organization of the Exonerees, he has worked with [...]

2023-02-21T15:21:32-05:00February 21st, 2023|Categories: Blog, Courts, Crime survivors, Racial equity, Reentry, Sentencing|