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Creative rehabilitation is changing attitudes – MDOC



Source: MDOC

The Mississippi Department of Corrections has developed creative ways to reduce idleness while also changing attitudes and heightening inmates’ productivity level for rehabilitation. Among them is an increased focus on sports, including basketball, boxing, flag football, and softball.

MDOC is creating sport teams based at all state-run facilities. These teams compete against each other, giving inmates something to look forward to while also creating sportsmanship among their peers.

Mississippi State Penitentiary held its first boxing match in November with teams competing with Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.

This month, MSP inmates competed amongst themselves. MSP Superintendent, Marc McClure explains, “The inmates who participate have pre-match physicals and are required to take drug tests. The boxers get a special visit following their match where they can share a meal with their families. This has been beneficial to reducing behavior problems and providing an additional tool to improve both inmate morale and reducing idleness.”

Mississippi Athletic Commission Chairman Randy Phillips has assisted with boxing training and also ensures that MDOC safety equipment meets standards.

During boxing events, medical staff and ringside trainers attend as well as official judges, referees, and timekeepers that facilitate the matches.

The boxing ring was donated by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Marcy Croft, Jay-Z’s attorney, facilitated the donation and has attended to see boxers enjoying their time in the program.

“We encourage our inmates to be involved in sports activities as it battles idleness in prison. We have created many different teams to allow them to get out of their dorms and participate in being active”, says Commissioner Burl Cain.

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