Instead of doing “idle time” in prison, one man at East Mississippi says he’s making real changes

Instead of doing “idle time” in prison, one man at East Mississippi says he’s making real changes

More than 40 men incarcerated at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian attended the second annual vocation outreach program. The theme was ‘Never Let Your Past Determine Your Future’. All attendees have less than a year before their release from prison.

Representatives from a local bank and the nearby college spoke to the group, providing counsel on financial management and furthering their education.  Additionally, other representatives talked about resources for those who are disabled, veterans, and job seekers.

Following the program, Edward House provided feedback:

“After being incarcerated for more than 25 years at various prisons across the state of Mississippi, I now feel as though I have tools to be a productive citizen upon my release date mainly due to the fact that [here at MTC] I have learned many different things that are very useful for anyone who has plans of being a better person on the way out than they were coming in. Instead of sitting around doing idle time like I’ve done at all other facilities, I have been able to attend classes and face my dilemmas head on, because, regardless of what the problem is at the time, the staff, along with Program Coordinator Mrs. Powe, would slowly walk me through it in order for me to completely understand what my next step should be. I am grateful for the people who come here to be of real help.”

Andre Johnson added this:

“In a day and age which the political scene is in a ruckus, the unemployment rate is at an all-time high, and the love of many has waxed cold, we find ourselves on the dividing line of recidivism and rehabilitation. A great number of these percentages consists of ex-offenders. The vocational outreach here at MTC has developed an outstanding program to help combat the rise in unemployment and the decline of high school graduates and GED recipients. The speakers presented valuable information on available resources and opportunities to achieve vocational and educational goals.  Kudos to Mrs. Powe and her committee for a job well done!”