The Mississippi Association For Returning Citizens (MARC), officially launched on May 19, 2018, is a nonprofit organization created for the purpose of providing assistance to soon-to-be released prisoners, and those recently released from correctional facilities throughout the State of Mississippi. Our mission is to create a support system for returning citizens to help them break the cycles of incarceration and poverty through accountability, collaboration, building resources, and with learning opportunities.
The primary concern of MARC is reducing the rate of recidivism among our prison population. Very often men and women who have committed crimes that land them in jail and prison tend to become stigmatized by society, and their opportunities are often limited when they return to home communities because of those opinions. That makes it even harder for them to begin anew, and it often results in them returning to the behavior and activities that landed them behind bars in the first place. That is why we are seeking assistance from businesses, churches and community leaders throughout the State to help us to assist these returning citizens to get a fresh start at life.
Using the curriculum Getting Ahead While Getting Out, MARC begins working with people while they are still incarcerated. The program is designed to alter mindsets, inspire positive thinking and realistic goal-setting, and enhance accountability, while the participants are still in a “protective” environment with limited influences and where their actions are closely monitored. This, we believe, is the perfect environment for them to begin developing self-discipline while preparing for a new course of action for their lives. The curriculum requires special materials and must be facilitated by trained personnel and supported by the correctional staff. The program provides for long-term support for the participants who complete it.
On July 19, 2019 fifteen participants formed the first graduation class at CMCF in Pearl, with another group. Two more groups began in early fall, one in the MS State Penitentiary at Parchman and the other in CMCF. The materials and training are a bit costly, however, the lives that are renewed are priceless. Having these citizens return to their homes with a new outlook on life is also an investment into the communities where our program participants will return. We are seeking supporters, sponsors, and donors to assist with the continuance and expansion of this program in its entirety. The supporters would assist with referrals and opportunities for the program participants returning to their communities. The sponsors would assist by adopting participants and covering the costs involved with their training and possibly offering an apprenticeship upon their return. Donors would make a one-time donation or commit to a monthly contribution for a designated period to ensure that lives are continually changed through this program. As a nonprofit, any gift or the value of any form of support provided to MARC will be 100% tax deductible.
If you would like additional information about the program, we would be more than happy to provide that to you upon request. You may call us at (601) 594-8254. We will have a MARC representative contact you within a few days to discuss how you would like to show your support to this much needed and valuable opportunity for the State and its current prison population. We pray that you will find it in your heart to support this worthwhile effort.
MARC Executive Director