JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Monday, a new class graduated from the Hinds County Department of Re-Entry Program.

The trade program, which was started by the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, is geared toward helping those convicted of one or more felony charges get back on their feet after being released from jail. 

The eight-week orientation and classes are held at Hinds Community College (HCC) to help to teach former inmates how to repair relationships and learn skills necessary for the workplace.

Organizers said the program has had a 98% success rate since launching in Fall 2021.

“We give people a second chance. Those people who are looking for a second chance, we give a second chance. We are not here to turn our backs on them. Some of them need their IDs, and some of them need their social security cards or certificate. You’d be surprised, people who have been out of jail for a long time don’t even have those things, so we start off with just the basics of what they need and starting at the point to this point,” explained Angela Harper, a case manager for the program.

Former inmates, who are not registered as sex offenders, can learn about joining the re-entry program by going to the Hinds County Courthouse.