[Michigan, March 13, 2023]:
In an effort to keep dialogue with government agencies, AHRC held a Meet, Greet & Open Conversation community forum earlier this past week with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) leadership. The forum was organized and facilitated jointly by AHRC and the Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD).

The session attracted a diverse group of community leaders, activists, scholars, professionals, community- based organizations, advocacy groups as well as law enforcement agencies that included Michigan State Police, Canton Police Department, Southfield Police Department and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The attendees had a candid dialogue with the MODC team that included Ms. Heidi Washington, Director of MDOC, Mr. Kyle Kaminski, MDOC, Offender Success Administrator and Ms. Beverly Smith, Assistant Deputy Director, FOA, Metropolitan Territory.

A wide range of issues of common interests and concerns were addressed. These issues included the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan that is expected to begin in March 23 and Muslim inmates, religious educational programs, quality of food service, water, and telecommunications. The MDOC team made a presentation regarding the state of the prison population throughout the State.

Participants stressed the importance of protecting and preserving prisoners’ basic rights and appreciated the MDOC’s commitment to treating all inmates equally under the relevant laws, policies, and regulations.

While prisoners have broken laws and are being punished by incarceration, they still have human rights and constitutional rights. Their rehabilitation is in the interest of society. AHRC considers protecting inmates’ rights an important part of its mission. AHRC has a special program related to prisons and prisoners’ rights and spearheaded a Prisoner & Family Gift Program. We are committed to protecting the rights of inmates.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to engage with the community, have an open dialogue on issues that were of interest to those who attended and discuss opportunities to support the success of men and women impacted by the criminal justice system” said Ms. Heidi Washington, Director of MDOC.

“AHRC is a strong believer in dialogue and building bridges of understating with all stakeholders, especially the government agencies that affect our lives and rights,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “We are committed to continuing our efforts towards advancing the dialogue and trust with all governmental agencies at all levels,” added Hamad. “AHRC appreciates the ICD’s partnership in hosting these series of community forums,” concluded Hamad.

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