Hinds County launching re-entry program for former inmates

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When people get into trouble with the law, it could be a hard time for them to start and find employment once they’re released from prison. That’s why the Hinds County Board of Supervisors announced they will start a reentry program, which will be aimed at giving former inmates a second change.

Applications will be accepted on Wednesday, September 1 at the Jackson Convention Center from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To apply, you must have been convicted of at least one felony, provide a legal form of identification, proof of age and proof of Hinds County residency. Sex offenders will not be accepted. 

After showing proof of the requirements, candidates will have a follow-up interview and must agree to taking a COVID-19 test before the interview is scheduled.

Once selected to the program, individuals will attend an eight week orientation and attend classes at Hinds Community College that leads to job certifications. They must also agree to random drug testing. Failure to comply can result in consequences. 

“Our purpose is to assist individuals with a second chance, to put them in place to be able to secure employment, any other services they may need to be so they can be contributing members of society,” said Louis Armstrong, the director of the Hinds County Reentry Department.

This program is modeled after Birmingham‘s Dannon Project, which is one of the top reentry programs nationwide with a reported 92% success rate.

Hinds County Board of Supervisors President Credell Calhoun said he’s worked on this project for more than a year and has finally been able to raise the funds for it, which started with $50,000.

“We are trying very hard to make Jackson safer through this reentry program by putting people back to work,” said Calhoun.

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