Foundation for the Mid South Re-Launches Updated Reentry Resource Guide to Support Mississippi Families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2023
Contact: Kate Hansen, firstname.lastname@example.org
As Second Chance Month Kicks Off, The Foundation for the Mid South Re-Launches Updated Reentry Resource Guide to Support Mississippi Families and Formerly Incarcerated People
Resource Guide updates include resources for educational services, employment opportunities, mental health and substance abuse treatment, legal services, and much more.
JACKSON, MS – As Second Chance Month is underway in April, the Foundation for the Mid South today announces the re-launch of the Mississippi Reentry Resource Guide, with major new updates that include more national, statewide, and local programs, community organizations, and vital hotline resources to help more individuals successfully return home after incarceration and better navigate obstacles to reentry. Second Chance Month reaffirms the critical need for people who have experienced incarceration and have criminal convictions to be able to access services that support their reentry. The Foundation for the Mid South understands the many barriers that challenge formerly incarcerated people, and created this guide to address those challenges as people rejoin their families and communities.
The updated Reentry Resource Guide provides vital information about critical support to people who are returning home, including how to access mental health treatment, employment training, and housing support. The Reentry Resource Guide offers educational, employment, healthcare, legal, mental health, substance abuse, and transportation services for people to access within their communities.
“When our neighbors return home after being incarcerated, they face many barriers to re-entering their communities, like accessing job training and housing – it’s just commonsense that we want to ensure Mississippians have access to this important information that will help them rejoin the workforce and contribute to our communities,” Meshelle Rawls, Director of Administration at the Foundation for the Mid South. “April is second chances month and we are thrilled to be able to release this updated resource to ensure that our neighbors have a meaningful second chance to successfully return to their communities and take care of their families.”
“We are all safer if we ensure people have opportunities for rehabilitation and reentry support when they are released from prison. At MDOC, we are doing our part and increasing the reentry programming available to people in custody and offering support to help them be successful when they are released,” Bradley Lum, Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at Mississippi Department of Corrections said.“This resource guide will help ensure people have access to essential information about services and resources in their communities as they work to find jobs, take care of their families, and contribute to their communities.”
The Reentry Resource Guide offers a wide-range of resources and information, and it’s designed to be user-friendly for all individuals impacted by the criminal justice system and formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as the people in their support networks and broader communities, including their family members and friends, state and local agencies working with directly impacted people, law enforcement, state and national policymakers, researchers, and others. The Reentry Resource Guide provides information and resources to all Mississippians to help support people who are formerly incarcerated and ensure a successful transition back into their communities, families, and the workforce – throughout Second Chance Month and beyond.
“Resources that provide formerly incarcerated individuals the opportunity to gain employment within their communities will help reduce recidivism, boost our economy, and advance public safety,” said Forrest Thigpen, Senior Advisor to Empower Mississippi. “When we offer support and resources to individuals returning home it gives them a real second chance to successfully transition back to their communities and help take care of their families, which makes all of us safer and our state stronger.”
“Incarceration is something that touches us all. One in 13 Mississippians has a felony conviction. That is why this reentry resource guide is such an important tool. Making sure formerly incarcerated and people with convictions can access critical reentry services ensures that our formerly incarcerated neighbors have a meaningful opportunity to rejoin the workforce, care for their families, and contribute to their communities,” said Alesha Judkins, Mississippi State Director at FWD.us. “This guide provides information about vital post-release services that for too long have been out-of-reach to Mississippians that need it the most.
As Mississippi’s highest-in-the-country imprisonment rate continues to rise, it’s never been more crucial to provide vital services, information, and assistance to people who are re-entering society in our state, across the South, and throughout the nation. The Reentry Resource Guide helps people access key services while they work to re-enter society, it boosts public safety across our state, helps families support their loved ones when they come back home and in turn helps formerly incarcerated people resume taking care of their families.
View the Reentry Resource Guide here.
About The Foundation for the Mid South: The Foundation for the Mid South was established to bring together the public and private sectors and focus their resources on increasing social and economic opportunity. Our approach is straightforward and long term: enable communities to develop solutions to better conditions and improve lives. We are in the business of improving lives in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. It is a daunting task because the Mid South is home to 30% of the nation’s poverty, which has eroded the well-being of our communities, education and health systems, as well as financial security. These deficiencies—if left unhindered—will continue to grow and deny further opportunities to better conditions for families today and future generations.