Lansing, MI – Prison inmates who throw food or bodily fluids at corrections officers will be subject to a five-year felony sentence, the Michigan Department of Corrections has announced.
Inmates who expose themselves to corrections officers for sexual gratification were also included in the law.
The Officer Dignity Initiative was the collective effort of the Prosecuting Attorney Association of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), the Michigan State Police (MSP), and the Michigan Corrections Organization (MCO) prison employee union, Prison Legal News reported.
In January of 2017, the coalition released a video that shed light on the assaultive conditions corrections officers faced on a daily basis.
“The Officer Dignity Video captures all the great work MCO and the coalition did to shed light on the hidden realities and difficulties of corrections work,” Andy Potter, MCO Vice President and Chief of Staff said, according to the MDOC website.
You can see the video below.
“In addition to giving a voice to staff members who have experienced these assaults first-hand, it reminds all employees that someone has their back and what happens to them inside the walls matters,” Potter said.
They discussed the gut-wrenching and degrading reactions they experienced when inmates attacked them with urine, feces, saliva, and blood, which they called being “dressed out.”
“Being ‘dressed out’ is not something that should ever be considered a part of the job. It is a crime and one that robs our employees of their dignity,” MDOC Deputy Director Ken McKee said, according to WDIV.
“Our staff members need to know that when they are assaulted, we will do everything possible to ensure the case is handled correctly so that it can be turned over to MSP with the goal of seeing a prosecution,” McKee said.
In February, administrators began posting signs on prison grounds that reminded inmates about the potential penalties.
You can see the Officer Dignity video below: