Hooks, Jr. scores new job with jails - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Hooks, Jr. scores new job with jails

After serving 30 days in jail for fraud, former Memphis City School Board member Michael Hooks, Jr. has a new job -- with the Shelby County Division of Corrections.

Hooks was recently hired to recruit inmates for the Responsible Fatherhood Grants initiative. He will join a number of other ex-offenders being paid federal dollars to help county inmates find jobs and restore family relationships after they're released from jail.

County administrators say Hooks has paid his debt to society and his new job shouldn't raise any eyebrows.

"Mr. Hooks is a felon, but Mr. Hooks is the holder of a masters degree," said Stanley Lipford with the Shelby County Division of Corrections." I think that, once again, he has the ability, we think, to be able to relate to inmates and people who are probably in in his same situation."

Hooks' duties will include working in jail dormitories and cell blocks to recruit inmates.

Hooks started the temporary part-time job last Wednesday. His position will end September 30, 2008.

Officials say Hooks' participation in the program is an example of the county's commitment to encouraging other businesses to hire convicted felons. Their goal is to reduce the county's 66 percent recidivism rate, which officials say will help reduce crime in the long run.

Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.
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