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Neighboring states’ correctional leaders join re-entry forum

Correctional leaders from neighboring states are joining the Mississippi Department of Corrections to share ideas and best practices in support of re-entry needs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.

The symposium, hosted by MDOC is part of statewide re-entry month and up to 400 people from diverse backgrounds, including elected officials, are expected at the event held at Broadmoor Baptist Church, 1531 Highland Colony Parkway, in Madison. This is the second year the forum has been held and Governor Phil Bryant is expected to speak during the afternoon.

“Our inaugural event last year was very successful,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “We made connections that led to meaningful partnerships to help us build upon our re-entry initiatives. I am very pleased to see the interest both nationally and locally in giving second chances to our returning citizens. It is going to take a holistic approach to help the formerly incarcerated.”

Tennessee Correction Commissioner Tony Parker, along with Arkansas Correction Director Wendy Kelley, Louisiana Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James Le Blanc, and Georgia Assistant Corrections Commissioner Jay Sanders will participate in a discussion focusing on re-entry, based on a view from the top.

Ideas also will be shared about overcoming barriers to employment and the benefits of collaboration. There will be a total of four discussion sessions.

In addition to the correctional leaders, attendees will hear from Andre Norman, a former gang member who turned his life around after 14 years in prison and is now a motivational speaker. Norman, who will serve as the keynote speaker is from Massachusetts and is currently working with the South Carolina prison system in a new leadership program that targets violent offenders.

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