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Monthly Meetings

Monthly Meetings are open to everyone. All are welcome. Join us to learn more about what we do and how you can help. Next Meeting:Monday, October 18th @ 6:30 pmSt. Paul Catholic Church5971 Hwy 25Flowood MS  39232

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Now you can donate to MARC online!

Please consider donating to this worthy cause. You can submit a one-time donation, or set up recurring payments. We are a 501c3 charity, so you donations are tax deductible.Your support is greatly appreciated! Click here to donate!

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Getting Ahead Graduation

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 …

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Getting Ahead while Getting Out Graduation

Congratulations to our first graduates of the Getting Ahead while Getting Out program.

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History/About MARC

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.

Respectfully,

Marvin Edwards
MARC Executive Director

Getting Ahead While Getting Out

THE MISSISSIPPI ASSOCIATION FOR RETURNING CITIZENS (MARC) provides people already working in the MS prison system, as well as returning citizens, with the tools needed to initiate an effective and long-term prison reentry program. This model is based on the GETTING AHEAD WHILE GETTING OUT REENTRY MODEL that reduces recidivism through learning, building resources, accountability and collaboration. This model can be found in the Getting Ahead Network www.gettingaheadnetwork.com

The reentry program:

Scarlett and Amy
Scarlett and Amy are members of our MARC team who set up an information table at St. Paul’s Church, Flowood to register people for the Workshops
  • Recruits and trains facilitators to accompany groups of returning citizens for a total of 22 two hour sessions
  • Coordinates with prison staff in choosing inmates to participate in the program
  • Conducts monthly meetings that provide in-service training and ongoing programming
  • Coordinates with existing programs
  • Mobilizes a volunteer base to advocate for prison reform as well as provide ongoing support to returning citizens after release.
  • Connects returning citizens with needed resources.
  • Supports families of returning citizens with information on available resources

Advocacy

Be part of the solution by sharing your time and talent       

Advocacy: Writing and/or call legislators

Art: share skills with returning citizens;  make posters, illustrations for fliers, etc.

Benefits: assist with applications, share information, accompany to social service agencies

Clothing: Introduce to local thrift shops; have backpacks with basics ready for release day

Mentor:  Establish a relationship with recently released citizen to provide assistance with basic information on daily needs and interests

Education: Literacy tutoring, GED support; on line education; Local Community College

Employment: information, connections, provide reference and/or supervision  

Financial Counseling

Food: Local food pantry,   making good use of supermarket                                                                                                                                       

Health:  Assistance with applications, finding clinic

Housing:  Finding a place,  furniture, household supplies,

Information Technology:  

  • Teach basic skills (at library or other public place)
  • Research on line available resources
  • Assist coordinating team: (eg Set up communication system, power points, bulk mailing)

Recreation:  (Suggest events, locations, accompany)

Secretarial skills:  Help with our organization correspondence, notices, etc

Spiritual:  Location of places of Worship, Introductions, direct dialogue, share spiritual books

Support Programs:  (Find location, accompany,  provide directions, transportation)

  • Anger management
  • Disability
  • Grief management
  • Mental Illness
  • Parenting Skills
  • Substance abuse:  AA and NA Programs, Gamblers Anonymous;

Transportation:  Drivers License, Used cars, prepare for drivers test, bus services

Contact Us

Executive Director
Chaplain Marvin Edwards
Mail — P.O. Box 153 Vaiden MS 39176
Phone — (601) 594-8254
Email — marvr1951@gmail.com

Marvin Edwards, Chaplain

Director
Bob Pavolini
Phone — 334-717-0890
Email — abpavo@gmail.com 

Case Manager
Dorothy Balser
Phone — 601-521-1331
Email — debexplorer@gmail.com