• Petitioned Governor Rick Snyder and Corrections Director Daniel Heyns

This petition was delivered to:

Governor Rick Snyder and Corrections Director Daniel Heyns

Keep Ryan Correctional Facility Open

    1. Petition by

      Renee Gross

      Ann Arbor, MI

The decision to close Ryan Correctional Facility in Detroit, Michigan is devastating on multiple accords and such action would damage not only the men within the prison but Detroit as a whole. Through multiple studies there have been two proven ways to reduce recidivism and increase positive behavior. One being regular visits from family and friends while in prison and the second being strong prison programs. Ryan correctional facility not only offers but excels in achieving both of these things.

The large majority of Ryan inmates are residents of Detroit and receive visits from family, friends, clergy, and community members on a frequent basis. Ryan inmates are able to maintain relationships and support systems that they can turn to upon being released. Moving the Ryan men to upstate prisons would prevent many of these support systems from visiting due to financial restrictions and the fact that over 25% of Detroit families do not own a vehicle. Closing Ryan would mean taking husbands away from wives, brothers away from sisters, and parents away from their children. If we care at all about the children of Detroit then we should give them a chance to build and maintain relationships with their fathers.

The children of the incarcerated are not the only ones that will hurt with the closing of Ryan Correctional Facility. Ryan inmates have started the “The Youth Deterrent Program,” a lifesaving program where prisoners speak honestly to at risk youth. By listening to these young men, offering compassion and understanding while at the same time explaining about the consequences of living a life of crime, they transform young men in Detroit from dangerous liabilities to a productive asset. This program has served youth from across the state and not a single participant was a criminal re-offender.

Finally, it is without a doubt that closing Ryan will eliminate a significant number of jobs within the Detroit Area. At a time when Detroit is going through such great hardships I urge you to think twice about a decision that will eliminate jobs, increase recidivism and tear families and communities apart. We are positive that when you do, you will come to the same conclusion as we have: closing Ryan means shutting down the only chance that people have to heal and connect despite incarceration and crime and in doing so create a better future for Detroit.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 200 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Barbara Gray WESTLAND, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      While closing Ryan and re-opening Muskegon may gain votes in Western Michigan, it will hurt support systems, cost prisoner families more to visit, ( if that is even possible, for many of the families), increase long distance phone bills, and basically make a lot of money for a few while devastating some of the poorest of the poor. Families of prisoners are already missing husbands, fathers and breadwinners. Prisons punish the whole family, and housing so many Detroit area prisoners in outstate prisons can only have destructive effects on families and upon such rehabilitative programming that exists.

      If housing is needed for parole violators, send them outstate. They should lose the privilege of being near home, not those who behave well while doing their time and who need the nourishment of the soul that comes from being near those who love them.

    • Phyllis Hastings SAGINAW, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      I've been a member of the steering team of the re-entry program for 4 years and a volunteer teacher at the Saginaw Correctional Facility. I know how important programs are to men in prison and the difference they make in preparing inmates for release. Please don't close a prison that has provided strong programming.

    • Elizabeth Weilburg ANN ARBOR, MI
      • over 2 years ago


    • Barbara A. Jones SOUTHFIELD, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      I am a firm believer in keeping keeping the family together even if one is incarcerated. Perhaps the realization of what their incarceration has done to their family would be incentive for "turning over a new leaf."

    • Dean Leininger HANOVER, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      Keeping a prisoner in the same geographical area of their family makes huge sense for visits, emotional support, the ability to stay connected within family lines.


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