Letters of
Support

Mike Johnson  159608 – MDOC Staff Recommendations  – April 1, 2016

Dr. Steven Harris, Clinical Forensic Psychologist, MDOC Psychologist, Forensic Psychological Examination, Forwarded by Dr. Harris to the Michigan Parole Board, April 1, 2016: 
“In summary, it is this clinician’s opinion that Mr. Michael Johnson has benefitted tremendously from the programs made available to him over the years, and as a consequence has been rehabilitated such that he may now be allowed ot safely adapt within the community.”

Forensic Psychological Examination, Forwarded by Dr. Harris to the Michigan Parole Board, July 1, 2009:
“I have been a Clinical Forensic Psychologist for over 30 years and am oftentimes hired by the state to evaluate inmates, so I have been in a lot of prisons. In my many years of forensic psychological work, I’ve never seen an individual more compliant with programming, with such a clean record while incarcerated, without being given the benefit of doubt that he has been sufficiently rehabilitated to allow structured release back into the community…As a seasoned psychological professional, I feel I know Michael very well and support his release.”

Randy Martinus, LTA Director, Muskegon Correctional Facility, 27-year MDOC Employee (retired), Letter to the Michigan Parole Board, January 26, 2016:  “The justice system will have failed if Mike weren’t given another chance as the recent Supreme Court recognizes now…Mike is not a threat in my opinion.”

Letter to Parole Board, March 28, 2006:
“I think it is significant that Michael has taken many steps to improve his understanding of the crime he committed as a teen. He accepts that what he did was wrong and he takes full responsibility for his actions. He has taken steps to mend his wrongdoing with the family of the offended and with himself. Michael’s strong ties and support from his family are also important factors in his consideration for parole. I feel very strongly that Michael has demonstrated to the Department of Corrections and to the Michigan Parole Board that he should be released back into society. He has my full support.”

Edward Fox, State President Michigan Corrections Organization, Muskegon Correctional Facility, 28-year MDOC Officer (retired), Letter to Parole Board, June 7, 2006):  “I can recall one incident when another prisoner’s cell was on fire. As we, the officers, were trying to evacuate the unit Michael attempted to enter the burning cell saying he had to see if anyone was in the totally smoke filled room…This incident did not surprise me. Michael had always impressed me as an individual who showed concern for others. These qualities are rare in the prisoner population. Showing care and concern is often viewed as weakness by other prisoners and can be dangerous to a prisoner who appears to be supporting staff. Michael has carried himself in a manner whereby he has earned the respect of both staff and prisoners.”

Felix Carrizalez, Muskegon Correctional Facility, 29-year MDOC Employee (retired), Letter to Michigan Parole Board, April 2, 2006:  “I witnessed the changes [in Michael] firsthand. I know that he is a changed man. Not only has he been remorseful, but he has also developed into a law-abiding and respectful person. He has not been selfish with himself, as I know on many occasions he has guided other young men into respectful conduct”

Stephen Marschke, Chairman Michigan Parole Board (former), Department of Investigation, Letter to Marc and Dawn Williams, sister Mike Johnson, October 26, 2001:  “I’m familiar with this case and all of the players. I voted for Mike Johnson’s parole in 2001 and I support him now…Mike’s case is most unique…of the thousands of inmates I have personally interviewed, Mike is the most worthy of release.”

Dr. Dave Vandervelde, Chief Psychologist, Victim Empathy Project, Group Psychotherapy, Muskegon Correctional Facility, August 12, 1998 MDOC Report:  “(Michael is) one of the most productive members with the group. He was viewed by other members as a leader…Mr. Johnson’s work usually exceeded the expectations of the program.”

Shirlee Harry, Warden, Muskegon Correctional Facility, MDOC (retired):, Submitted a special referral for Commutation to the Michigan Parole Board, January 13, 2009: “On 1/13/09, I completed and forwarded a Warden’s Referral to the Parole Board on your behalf.”