A New Beginning for an East Mississippi Ex-Offender

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Peyton Kendrick was released from prison on June 27, 2017.  The last few years of his sentence have been at MTC’s East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, Mississippi.  Before his departure, staff were able to sit down with Peyton to get a feel for his perspective after being incarcerated for 15 years.

“A lot of the staff here at MTC,” he began, “has been very helpful, especially when they see a guy that’s trying to make a change in their life, and really dedicated to being positive and productive with the things and the skills that they have to offer within the classes here at MTC.”

Initially assigned to close-custody status, Peyton held little hope for a better future.  But taking advantage of programming offered by the facility, he was able to turn his life around.

“It taught me the morals; to recognize all the things that I did in life, where my family relied, and who was with me at the times I messed up when I was down and out—when I was locked down in maximum security.”

Peyton was able to take a variety of programming courses at East Mississippi, from Moral Reconation Therapy to lifeskills; from computer basics to healthy relationships.

“I know now,” he says, “by my family showing me the loyalty and the love and support, if it wasn’t for them that I wouldn’t have the chance that I have today.”

Peyton is in a good position as he looks to his release from prison. With his determination and help from the facility, he has a job lined up with an overhead power line company where he will pursue his goal of becoming a journeyman electrician.

“I also plan on still attending therapy and counseling through an alcohol and drug program and being a full member of NA [narcotics anonymous] when I get out.”

“I haven’t been a very good role model,” he continues, “or father figure to my children, and the Inside Out Dad program that they offer here at MTC has been a big inspiration to me also as far as where I went wrong as a father.”

He credits such programming opportunities, as well as the caring environment at the facility, for his preparation to be released and return to the life he left behind 15 years ago.

“Me, I just want to do the right thing and remain positive with the loyal people such as my family. I want to be a part of my kids’ life when I get out; to be a father, to be a man, and hold up my responsibilities and to really understand what it’s like to be there for my children, instead of being in the lifestyle. I have a son that’s playing college football, and I’ve never watched him play a day of sports in his life. And it’s going to be the biggest thing for me to walk out there and watch him come out on that football field.”