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Simpson County Jail Launches Program for Inmates to Work at Private Companies

Several inmates from the Simpson County Detention Center now have jobs at private companies under a new program called SCORE. 

Three men and two women are the first inmates taking part in the program called “Second Chance Offender Rehabilitation and Education” or SCORE.

Deputy Jailer Ashley Penn is program director for the jail. She said the inmates found their own jobs, went on interviews, got hired, and at the beginning of this month, began working at local companies.

“It’s a very good opportunity for our workforce in this area because so many employers are needing good reliable employees and we have employees that are needing companies to give them a chance,” said Penn.

She said these first inmates in the program are working in manufacturing, but other types of jobs are expected to be part of the SCORE program.

A portion of the money each inmate earns while in the SCORE program goes to individual obligations, such as child support.

“They are required to pay 20 percent or $55, whichever one is lesser, to the jail because there are so many fees associated with running programs, that’s weekly," said Penn. "Part of their wages they have to use to pay towards if they owe restitution, child support, court costs and then a percentage goes to their savings.”

Penn said the first participants in SCORE are doing extremely well and they are encouraged by being out in the workforce and involved in the routine of daily life in the community. 

A main goal of the SCORE program is to have inmates on secure financial footing, with a job, when they leave jail. That gives them a better chance of not landing back behind bars, because they're already involved in a positive lifestyle. 

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