PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) launched a Reentry Academy, which aims to help inmates once they’re released from prison.
The academy is designed to deal with parole residents who have not been convicted of a violent crime. The process is called presumptive parole, which allows the offenders to be released without undergoing the formal parole process.
On Friday, MDOC let the press experience a simulation to see what decisions inmates have to make once they’re released from prison.
Kelley Christopher, deputy commissioner of Programs, Education and Reentry, said the program is the first of its kind in the state. Christopher said the final stage of the program is completing the simulation, which has everything one would find in a real community.
“They’re given an envelope with an ID, and they might have an ID, they might not. They might have money, they might not. They might have something they can pawn. They might have a bus ticket. So to go through every station in the simulation, they have to have all three forms of ID and a bus ticket. And they’re given a checklist of what they have to accomplish each 15 minutes, which constitutes a week in the free world,” Christopher explained.
If the inmates go to jail in the simulation, they won’t graduate from the academy.