JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Correction (MDOC) announced a new transition work program matching inmates with jobs after serving their sentence.

The announcement was made at the new probation and parole office in Pearl on Monday. Aimed at giving former a head start on life outside, the first former inmate going through the work program was grateful for the opportunity.

“This program has been good for me because it gives me a job when I get out. It gave me money in my pocket to take home with me to where I can take care of myself, where I don’t have to go back to doing the things I was doing before. So, it’s been a big blessing,” said Russell Fitzhugh. “I don’t have to go out there and wonder about what I’m gonna be doing and where I’m going to go or nothing like it because I already got a job. I already got a plan, and they’ve helped me with that.”

Inmates going through the work program will continue as general laborers with the City of Brandon’s Maintenance Department.