CORINTH, Miss. (WCBI) – A program that aims to keep inmates from returning to jail once they are released is gaining momentum.
Anthony Durrah knows he needs to make some changes in his life.
Part of that means finding ways to become a productive, law-abiding member of society, once he is released from jail.
“I’m getting close to going home so, now it’s enabled me to go out there and try to finish what I started and try to better myself so I can get a job and do the right thing in life,” Durrah said.
He’s one of 10 inmates in the Alcorn County Jail who completed the “Jails2Jobs” program.
The initiative is a partnership with the county, and Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Instructors come to the jail, once a week for 15 weeks, teaching students about topics such as personal development, manufacturing and industrial maintenance.
“It will help get jobs, going into the world, being from in here to out there is completely different. It will help with resumes, getting jobs,” said Student Marty Oswalt.
This program is unique because it not only gives inmates valuable training and instruction, but they also receive nine hours of college credit.
“Which they can apply toward a certificate, or apply it toward a pathway that they can get into a credit generated program for a specific skill,” said NEMCC President Ricky Ford.
Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell says it’s all about showing students there is a better way.
“We’ve seen they can be successful, once they’ve been through this, we’re encouraging these inmates to be successful and not be back here, like I told them in the ceremony, we don’t want to ever see them again,” Sheriff Caldwell said.
The next “Jails 2 Jobs” course is expected to start this summer.
NEMCC hopes to expand the initiative to jails in other counties throughout the area.