Volunteer programming is restarting at many Michigan correctional facilities and AVP Michigan is looking at getting going again. As part of this process, we were informed about important changes happening at the Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF) that directly impact AVP at MCF.
In 2019, Hope College partnered with Western Theological Seminary to provide a Christian liberal arts education to incarcerated individuals at MCF through the Hope Western Prison Education Program. After much success, the program became officially accredited in 2021 and now offers MCF students a Bachelor of Arts degree. The Hope Western Prison Education Program is free for incarcerated students and paid for by the college.
While we are excited about the great new opportunities for higher education at MCF, we learned from the administration that for the foreseeable future space will no longer be available for conducting AVP workshops at the facility due to the increased scheduling and space use by the college program.
We will certainly miss interacting with our great team of AVP Inside Facilitators at MCF! We wish them the best and imagine some might be able to take advantage of the new educational opportunities at MCF, showing off their AVP smarts in the process.
Going forward, we are turning our attention toward the possibly of getting restarted at the Ionia Correctional Facility. We have been in contact with the administration and some outside facilitators have been meeting via Zoom to do planning and preparation. Part of this process is figuring out how best to deliver AVP workshops while still maintaining the required social distancing and masking. Creativity and change will be required!