Dozens rally for prison reform at Michigan Capitol

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – At the state Capitol today, more than a hundred people gathered outside to rally for prison reform, specifically for those who receive life sentences.

“The justice scale is different for our people, and it’s unfair.”

“He has done the time for the crime he had committed, but he’s still in prison,” said Patrice Ferguson.

Ferguson is talking about her husband. He was convicted of assault with intent to commit murder back in 1984.

She says his prison sentence just isn’t fair.

“Life really doesn’t mean all your life, I believe life means 20 years, my husband’s done 37 years,” said Ferguson.

Right now in the United States, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports almost 2.3 million people are in prison and if the country’s prison population were a city, it would be the fifth largest in the U.S.

William Hawkins, whose father is currently serving a life sentence, says that’s a problem.

“He’s been rehabilitated for years, he’s been in prison my entire life, over 30 years, but he hasn’t been given the just opportunity to prove himself as a rehabilitated citizen,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins hopes by speaking out, lawmakers will continue to take action.

“The numbers are definitely, you know, not adding up, so let’s go ahead and figure out why and let’s fix the system, cause we shouldn’t have a quarter of the prisoners in the world locked up in one country,” said Hawkins.

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