Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: 3R Project - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: 3R Project

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By Ben Watson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Deep behind the razor wire, inside the Shelby County Division of Corrections, Elizabeth Manning and other inmates are serving out their sentences as they learn how to work in a restaurant.

"That helps us and prepares us when we are released, cause it's very difficult for offenders and felons to find employment," Manning said.

For the past two years, an inmate re-entry program called the 3R Project has helped some 200-inmates learn skills to help them find work after they get out of jail.

"This is one of the best anti-crime efforts you will find anywhere," Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton said.

That's why job recruiters from around the Mid-South met at the jail recently to study the 3R Project's success.  Don Loiacano of the Franklin Sports Company was the first to hire former Shelby County inmates, and he's eager to hire more.

"As soon as they can get them to us we put them on," he said.

The 3R Project also has a "work release element" that also allows eligible inmates to work at places like Franklin Sports' warehouse in Memphis.

"Our soul purpose and mission is to keep people from committing other crimes and coming back to jail," project administrator Stanley Lipford said.

And not coming back is exactly what inmates like Elizabeth Manning are looking forward to.

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