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Judicial candidates visit potential voters in jail

A growing number of women are incarcerated in the U.S. and many of them give birth in prison or jail.
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Judicial candidates made an unusual campaign stop today, the Genesee County Jail.

Contenders for seats on circuit, appeals, and the state supreme court spoke to a group of people in orange jumpsuits. Among them was Greg Kennedy, who's been in the jail for several months waiting for his court date.

"I think there's a lot of things that guys that are incarcerated need to know about the judicial process and voting rights particular, so it's really a good process."

Kennedy says voting is "sancrosanct" to him. Getting to hear from candidates who make decisions for people in the criminal justice system while tied up in the system made a big impression on him. Kennedy voted in the August primary while in jail, and plans to cast a ballot next month too.

Beenish Ahmed is Michigan Radio's Criminal Justice reporter. Since 2016, she has been a reporter for WNYC Public Radio in New York and also a freelance journalist. Her stories have appeared on NPR, as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, VICE and The Daily Beast. Additionally, Beenish spent two years in Islamabad, Pakistan, working with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, covering the country’s first democratic transition of power as well as Pakistan's education system.