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First Resource Fair at SMCI Helping Offenders Adjust to Life after Release

JACKSON - On Thursday, for the first time inmates at South Mississippi Correctional Institution will be able to talk face to face with representatives from businesses and organizations they likely will need after their release from prison.
The Resource Fair will be available to approximately 100 inmates in the pre-release program from 8 a.m. until noon at the Leakesville prison. They will be able to browse among tables set up for 16 participants, including Trustmark Bank, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Mar-Jac Poultry, Pine Belt Mental Health, WIN Job Center, and Jones County Junior College. MDOC representatives also will be on hand to provide information.
Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said the fair is consistent with the agency’s renewed efforts to provide meaningful rehabilitation to reduce recidivism. "This is another example of our efforts to help inmates have a better chance at success upon release," Hall said. "Through this and many other programs, we will continue to find ways to help inmates prepare for reintegration into society. Providing programs like this goes a long way toward helping offenders hopefully lead productive lives and reduce their chances of returning to the prison system."
Pre-Release Program Director Lisa L. Herndon modeled the fair after a similar program at the federal prison in Yazoo County. Herndon plans to hold a fair every six months.
"We are providing this information to these offenders in hopes of giving them options on what can be done to assist them when they are released from prison," Herndon said. "Hopefully, they will take this information and see that they have others ways of taking care of their needs instead of breaking the law."

Published: 10/11/2017