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Sunday September 24, 2017
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Mary King's Mission

 

continued

We're escorted to a bare-bones conference room and seated around a long table with two corrections officials and a representative of POWER, Inc., a nonprofit that contracts with MPRI to find jobs for newly released inmates. A husky, twenty-something man in prison blue sits at the head of the table. The group asks him questions, and he politely answers with "Yes, sir" or "Yes, ma'am."

"James" (not his real name) is King's first client of the day. He has been here six months and soon will be released.

One of the camp officials, a middle-aged man with a mild demeanor, tells James that MPRI will arrange for short-term housing, clothes, and a bus pass to help him get on his feet. "People commit crimes because they have particular needs-substance abuse, paying the bills for young families," the man says. "If we can offer you [help with those] there's really no reason for you to commit crimes. Agreed?"

"Yes, sir."

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