Mississippi Works is a reentry program that gives Mississippi Department of Correction 25,000 citizens participating statewide an opportunity to successful re-enter society above poverty through meaningful employment in hopes of increasing rehabilitation as a productive citizen.
Benefits of Program- Participants
In the first year, citizens on the program will make a starting salary at an average of $34,800 a year.
This is the ONLY program in the state that PAY citizens for being apart of a re-entry program with a $500 monthly incentive to become a productive member of society.
A $3,000 bonus is issued out every 6 months within the first year. A $1,500 bonus is issued out every 3 months beginning the 2 year.
Citizens apart of the program will make $3,000 - $6,000 more than co-workers with the same job description.
In the first year on the program, citizens will make $21,920 above the state's poverty line.
Citizens always have an opportunity of employment even if resignation or termination with its current employer has occurred.
If the citizen isn't a fit for their current assignment, we simply re-assign the citizen to a new assignment with a different employer.
"As the Mississippi State Senate Corrections Chairman, I am glad to see Mississippi Works offer life changing help to those who deserves a second chance."- Senator Juan Barnett, District 34, Chairman, Senate Corrections Committee
"I believe everyone deserves a second chance. The Mississippi Works program gives Mississippians who have paid for their crimes a chance to restart their lives and become productive members of society." Representative Jeramey Anderson; District 110, House Corrections Committee Member
"This program is not only a great opportunity for returning citizens to start to rehabilitate their lives & positively contribute to society but also gives Mississippi a chance to greatly reduce its prison recidivism rate."- Mayor Dr. Johnny DuPree Ph.D; 34th Mayor, City of Hattiesburg
"Helping these individuals obtain an opportunity for employment not only strengthens our society, but also helps to provide them a path to success," Councilman Nick Brown, Ward 5, City of Hattiesburg City Council Member
"A program such as MS Works is a win win for all parties. The offender attempting to reenter the community with hope that he/she may be able to provide sufficiently for their family wins. The program encourages prospective employers to contribute even more to our communities to affect change and possibly find employees who will be happy to be given a second chance. The other win is the likely probability of decreasing the recidivism rate in Mississippi, something we all desire." Supervisor Sharon Thompson, District 2, Forrest County Board of Supervisors
How The Program Works
Applicants must be on one of the state's program to be eligible to apply to be accepted into the Mississippi Works Program. Those programs include, ERS, House Arrest, Probation, Parole or any other program authorized by the department.
Applicants may also be incarcerated housed within the Mississippi Department of Corrections at one of its correctional institutions.
Field Offices throughout the state works as liaisons between the returning citizens and the program by encouraging its citizens to simply apply online to be apart of the program. This is simply submitting an application online. This qualifies for looking for employment.
For those individuals who are currently housed within the department of corrections at an institution(s), MS Works visits those citizens within the institutions to register those citizens for the program including in person and virtual interviews, so that day 1 upon release, returning citizens already have secured employment to successfully re-enter society.
Mississippi Works review applicants, interview applicants, then assign citizens a long term job through partners via contracting on a 6 months basis. There is a premium to employers which is less than market rate for contracting. (employee pay + premium = contracting cost)
At the end of 6 months employers have the opportunity for a "Direct Hire." If the employer chooses to exercise this option, the citizen will no longer be on the program, they will work directly for the company.
Benefits of Program- Employers
At the end of the 6 months, there is $0 buyout fee(s) to hire an employees permanently as a direct hire.
Employers can receive a $2,400 Work Opportunity Tax Credit per applicant that's hired. Employers receive 40% of the qualified employee's 1st year wage.
Employers can receive a bond, a FREE, six month Fidelity Bond which serves as a business insurance policy against theft, forgery, larceny or embezzlement by the bonded employee.
Employers have the benefit of constant labor whereas their production level isn't affected by an employees absence due to resignation or termination.
Let's Work Together
Private Sector + Re-Entry Program = Begins Successful Rehabilitation into Society.