The Opening Statement is a free quarterly newsletter that features articles written by those currently imprisoned by the state of Michigan. We publish poetry, political writing and opinion pieces, as well as other relevant pieces by non-incarcerated authors. "Between 2017 and 2020, we did what we'd set out to do, regularly publishing articles, opinion pieces, … Continue reading The Opening Statement – Summer 2022
In the last issue of The Opening Statement, we invited people to write in to let us know how things were going at their facilities in terms of the response to COVID-19. We asked a few specific questions, about whether folks knew anyone who’d gotten seriously sick, been hospitalized, or died; about units being locked … Continue reading The Opening Statement, Spring 2022
"I have a face, a name, a past, and a future. I and the rest of us aren’t simply a number, locked away, and easily forgotten. So thank you for making us impossible to forget. As well, I will never forget all of you."
Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity (MAPS) is pleased to announce the release of a new zine, The Pandemic Inside: COVID-19 in Michigan Prisons. This zine is a compilation of writings by prisoners that were shared with us during the first year or so of the pandemic. Their letters and essays expose the deplorable conditions and … Continue reading The Pandemic Inside: COVID-19 in Michigan Prisons
Over the past few years, Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity has been running a book club via its newsletter The Opening Statement. We select a text, individuals can write in for a free copy of that text, and participants are invited to write response essays that are published in the newsletter. MAPS would like to … Continue reading Inside Out Book Club Spring 2021
"Mourn the dead, fight like hell for the living" -Mother Jones Friends, family members, and supporters of prisoners held in Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) cages staged a mass funeral for the 94 people who have died of COVID-19 behind bars since March to draw attention to the MDOC’s callous and lethal response to the … Continue reading Memorial Caravan for Prisoner Lives
The Opening Statement is a free quarterly newsletter that features articles written by those currently imprisoned by the state of Michigan. We publish poetry, political writing and opinion pieces, as well as other relevant pieces by non-incarcerate authors. We include author names (legal name in parenthesis, required for prisoner mail) and MDOC numbers below to … Continue reading The Opening Statement – Summer 2020
If our understanding begins not just with the current virus but rather with the decades of what Ruth Wilson Gilmore describes as the state-sanctioned and extralegal production of vulnerability to premature death for Michigan’s racialized and poor populations, then our response should avoid appeals to go back to the way things were before, to “business as usual.” The pandemic, the various responses of the state, and the ensuing rebellions have illuminated the deep link between normalcy and death.
Since the shelter-in-place ordinances began, MAPS and other organizations have organized and supported multiple phone zaps with varying targets. Phone zaps are one tool of prisoner solidarity—they have significant limits, but they can also have material impacts that improve conditions for comrades in need. Flooding prison phone lines can let officials and guards know they’re … Continue reading Updates on Recent Phone Zaps
https://www.gofundme.com/manage/covid19-michigan-prisoner-support Prisons put people at high risk of COVID-19 infection. As the number of confirmed cases climbs, the state drags its feet on the only effective and healthy response—letting people out. The governor’s recent executive order targets county jails, ignoring the already dangerous and now lethal conditions in state prisons. We’re hearing from contacts inside … Continue reading COVID Relief Fundraiser for Prisoners