Sunday, April 26, 2009

Doug Tjapkes set to encourage humanity for prisoners in lecture at the Micah Center

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (April 27, 2009)--In the latest installment of the Micah Center’s Just Lecture series, Doug Tjapkes  (pronounced CHAP-kes) will speak to the topic of “Humanity for Prisoners” at Hope Reformed Church (2010 Kalamazoo SE, Grand Rapids) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5.

Tjapkes has never served time behind bars himself, but the retired broadcast journalist nevertheless has ample first-hand experience with prison life and the fate of our nation’s incarcerated. His organization, Humanity for Prisoners (formerly named Innocent), has allowed Tjapkes to draw near to many inmates to better understand the criminal justice system and its impact on society and the individuals it incarcerates. 

Out of those experiences Tjapkes authored Sweet Freedom, a narrative detailing his friendship with Maurice Carter, a man convicted of a crime of which he was years later acquitted. Sadly, Carter died only a few months after his release from prison, after unjustly serving two decades in the penitentary.

Humanity for Prisoners aims to advocate for prisoners who might have been wrongly convicted; the agency also pursues more compassionate and restorative policy as well as more dignified and humane services and conditions within the prison setting.

Tjapkes will explore restorative justice principles and propose how the justice system might be reformed to better care for and restore individuals and communities affected by criminal behavior.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Micah Center is a faith-based grassroots justice movement in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information about the Just Lecture Series or The Micah Center, visit or email (

Brian Paff, The Micah Center

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