Helping criminals reform

12 News Investigates

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – It’s a blessing for those who come through the Wendy Hatcher Transitional Home.

“It’s like a family. I was able to get up and cook and serve breakfast,” said Emma Holmes who is a convicted felon.

At 65 and after leaving the home, Holmes is still focused on doing better and not returning to her old life, even though money is tight.

“I refuse to sell drugs. I refuse to go back to prison.”

Pauline Rogers, founder of the Wendy Hatcher Transitional Home, said it’s baby steps getting back into the world from being incarcerated. While Holmes stayed at the home for a year, Rogers said people can stay indefinitely.

“We have a 34 year record of zero recidivism for those that have come through our program, and we didn’t have a model years ago. I started just to save myself,” said Rogers.

Since the program began, 1,800 people have stayed at home and have not returned to prison.

“We get zero state funding nor do we have a transitional housing bid from the state. We get zero funding from state foundations or corporations,” said Rogers.

Rogers and her husband were both incarcerated, and they do this out of their experiences and willingness to help others.

12 News reached out to Governor Tate Reeves’ office for a sit-down interview after he signed a bill making thousands of inmates parole-eligible. We were told his scheduler is working on this.

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