tion of the uprising. At every turn, we were asking for more dialogue on officers’ concerns and offering solutions to prevent COs from having to experience anything like the Kinross riot again. Days after the riot, MCO President Tom Tylutki met with Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press for about an hour. An indepth story was published the following day. The MCO communications department arranged several more interviews. It was clear that the media and the public wanted to know the whole story. The communications department also placed newspaper ads around the state to publicly show our appreciation for all MDOC staff and other responding staff. At least 10 agencies came to the aid of MDOC staff during the
riot, and we are grateful for their help in keeping officers and inmates unharmed. Five days after the riot, MCO President Tom Tylutki, Vice President/Chief of Staff Andy Potter, and MCO Member Engagement Associate Jim McHenry toured KCF and met with members. MCO leaders and staff have returned several times to talk to members outside of work. Several officers have sat down for interviews with the union, describing in detail what they saw, heard, and felt the day of the riot. “I felt honored, knowing that officers trust MCO enough to open up with us in this way,” Potter said. “Their stories were eye-opening. There aren’t many words that can express what some of them were feeling. “As a CO, I went into prisons with a heightened sense of awareness. This is another level. It is so otherworldly what these officers experienced. One member, a veteran who was sent to Somalia after the Battle of Mogadishu, described it as more mentally stressful than a war zone.” For years, union representatives have been sounding the alarm on safety and security issues. We hope that we can finally have some of these long-standing issues resolved in a way that makes MCO placed this members feel ad (or a halfheard, respectpage version) in ed, and shielded several newspafrom harm as pers around the state to recognize much as possithose who worked ble. throughout the riot and to raise awareness of what happened.
Interviews Continued A we knew that we had absolutely zero control. And mind you, at this time, the siren is blowing and blowing and blowing...” - Housing Unit officer “Adrenaline was flowing ... It was very, very intense. We knew we were going in with fully armed squads to take over this prison, we really didn’t know what was going to happen. ” - Escorting officer/assisting ERT On how this happened “You can’t tell an inmate he’s going to serve the rest of his life in a prison, on a hard mattress, on a not-so nice pillow on a metal bunk or a concrete bunk, then feed him poor food and expect he’s going to just take that forever. The classification system – we have inmates in a temporary prison that cannot be locked down, that would not have gotten out of Level IV 15 years ago, 10 years ago even... “It’s overcrowded. We keep closing prisons, but we’ve got seven and eight people in a cube, and cubes that were designed for four people. And restroom facilities that were designed for half as many inmates, kitchen facilities designed to cook for half as many inmates, recreational facilities for half as many inmates. And you’re putting in twice as many inmates, all vying for those limited amount of resources.” - Escorting officer/assisting ERT
“It would just be somewhat common sense I feel to have one less bunk (in every cube)... Those Level IV style inmates should not be in an openbay, open dormitory, without a seg. ” - Housing Unit officer On the stress “Now that I look back at it, I think about what could have happened to me. I don’t think it’s set in yet ... I’m totally different since this, you know, walking in there. I always want to come out the way I came in, and that day really was the scariest ever before since I’ve started working... It’s really changed me, just being in there, and how they don’t appreciate, how they downplayed it... Scariest day of my life. So how could you not be traumatized by it?” - Housing Unit officer Fall 2016 MCO Report 5
The Fall 2016 MCO Report, published by Michigan Corrections Organization.