Friday 2/21/2020 a graduation ceremony and luncheon was held in the Quick Beds Visitation Center at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF). There was a total of 9 graduates. Due to early release only seven were able to be present. Family members were also invited and some were able to attend.
Superintendent Ron King spoke as well as Getting Ahead Facilitators Scarlett Larkin and Amy Blair. Each graduate spoke at the podium. Much to our surprise all eight graduates performed a “praise song” at the end of the speeches. This was an exceptional and very talented group of ladies who worked hard to understand their individual situations and make plans for their release.
CMCF Superintendent Ron King, Facilitators Scarlett Larkin and Amy Blair
Below are two of the seven exceptional speeches that were given:
Getting Ahead by Patty Lewellen
I’ve been locked up 5 years in this pen
Doing time for my sin
When they came to me about this class
Well I said, “it sounds real nice”
Little did I know just how far I would go
But now I have a 72 hour plan
So I won’t be back again
The ladies here have been so nice
They taught me things about my life
Not just what I see
But what they have seen in me
I read a story from this book
That makes me take a closer look
Make things right, while you still can
You many not get this chance again!
“My Destiny” by Brittnei Farmer
They say everything happens for a reason
And that nothing happens by chance
Even the trials we go through
And our hardest circumstance
It has all been predestined
To be where we are today
But regardless of what has happened
God is leading the way
One of my favorite scriptures
Is about trusting God with all my heart
Not just when things are good
But also when everything is falling apart
I never expected to end up
Behind these prison walls
But God will get your attention
When you don’t answer His calls
We cannot predict the future
Or see what lies ahead
But we can prepare for the unfortunate
And be proactive instead
This is why I chose classes
To get my life back on track
You must stay busy in here
Because Satan is always on the attack
Getting Ahead While Getting Out
Was the perfect class for me
The topics were very helpful
Especially about budgeting
Other topics addressed in the workbook
Were about situations in the zone
Then it came to my realization
That the books stories had become my own
Mrs. Amy and Mrs. Scarlett were very encouraging
And prepared me for my return in society
But what touched my heart the most
is they saw no stripes, they just saw me
So because of them I feel I still have a chance
To be whatever I want to be
I will take everything this class had to offer
Until the day I am set free
On the tables were pyramid center pieces, little bags of trail mix, and Hershey Kisses.
The pyramid represent a strong structure which can not be pushed down. The words on the pyramid represents the path these ladies have followed to plan their future. The gold crane on top is a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times. The trail mix is for fortification on your trail to success, and the gold kisses are for all the love and hugs we have share
Cheese, Veggie and Fruit platters were served along with Fried Chicken, ice tea and cake.
Being a Getting Ahead Facilitator is a very rewarding Ministry and a lot of FUN! We look forward to getting to know and working with many more individuals who seek to assess and plan their future upon release.
January 31, 2024
We are excited to announce that MARC will be partnering with Hope Alliance for services to returning citizens.
While the details are still very much in process, most of our activities will continue in the same form. However, some of our operations will be different. Come join us at our next meeting to hear more details and ask questions. Join us on Saturday, February 17, 2024, from 10:00 - 12:00 noon at St. Paul Catholic Church in Flowood, MS.
A zoom link will be available for those that cannot attend in person.
Dorothy Balser, MSW
MS Association for Returning Citizens (MARC)
September 12, 2022
Would you like to help men and women have a healthy restart when they are released from prison?
There are many ways to help ~ large and small ~ that make a huge difference in the lives of those wanting to do better and NOT end up in prison again. Whether you have been involved in this type or ministry, or new to this mission, you are welcome to join us and learn more about MARC!
Join us tonight at 6:30 pm to learn more about what MARC does, and find out what YOU can do!
Join us in person at St. Paul Catholic Church in Flowood, or on Zoom!
Like & Follow us on social media ~ help us grow our service !!!
Catch all the latest news from MARC on Facebook & Instagram @MARCreentry
December 1, 2021
Our December day of training was postponed due to severe weather. Stay tuned for a new training date to be posted soon. Become a part of the work of MARC! We will be resuming re-entry classes in the prisons this January, and we need more people to help prepare incarcerated men and women to "Get Ahead While Getting Out." Make plans to attend Questions? Call Bob @ 334-717-0890 or Marvin @601-594-8254.