Part II: ‘Ole Miss’ and Marshall County Expand Partnership

Through a partnership with Ole Miss University, incarcerated men at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs, Mississippi, have had access to programming, law seminars, and even service projects that would not have otherwise been possible.

“I appreciate everything that Ole Miss and MTC have contributed to my life, so far,” says resident Chris Osborne. “It’s a lot of things I didn’t realize about myself.”

Nick Walker agrees. “You can tell they’re really trying to get us to push,” he says, “and to think beyond our circumstances in this place. This is not all we have.”

Ole Miss volunteer instructors teach groundbreaking programming, law students conduct legal seminars, and criminal-justice students intern at the facility—all of which creates a mutually beneficial partnership which continues to grow.

Dr. Linda Keena is the Chair of the University’s Department of Legal Studies and a volunteer instructor at Marshall County.

“It’s just a way for the students to benefit,” she says, “a way for faculty [to benefit]. We have projects, research projects that we do at the institution and publish, that other people can see what’s happening in the institution, so we’re here to create new knowledge and help people along the way. It’s just been a great partnership with Marshall County.”

“The connection that I get from Ole Miss and MTC is, they make you realize that you’re bigger than the worst thing you did.”

Erick Howard has taken advantage of many opportunities made available by the partnership.

“I don’t know if they know how big this is on this compound, but it is huge because it effects people inside the prison.”

Rip Knox is also a resident at the facility who has benefited from the partnership with Ole Miss.

“MTC, or Marshall County – you could ask 90% of the inmates here – and they’ll tell you that it’s above all other facilities when it comes to education. From the door to when you leave out, they’re pushing education. And then you already know that Ole Miss, their law department is second to none in the United States. So, for them to partner together, it was already meant to be.”

Watch for more upcoming stories highlighting the partnership between Ole Miss and the Marshall County facility, a partnership from which each institution will continue to reap tremendous benefits.

“These opportunities keep showing up,” explains Anzio Hubbard, “and I’ve learned that success happens when opportunity meets preparation. So, I have to be prepared, because the opportunity’s going to show.”

Brittney Eakins is a law student who participates in the legal seminars conducted at the facility.

“But I hope that they know that we learn from them, too,” she says. “It’s a trade-off…we learn so much from them, too.  It’s a humbling experience, and it’s taught me a lot. So, I hope they know that; that we get a lot out of it as well.”