Sometimes people who make mistakes need extra attention or even a new start, either way, one Delta mayor has come up with a plan to help people fitting both categories. He's even helping some, with money, right out of his own pocket in some cases.
It's no gimmick, the Mayor of Clarksdale, Chuck Espy, has decided to give criminals second chances by either relocating them out of the city, or, helping them get on the path to redemption. It's part of his plan to continue to keeping the city and all of it's residents safe.
"So what we do with that individual, if have particular fines and they can't get the traction that they need to get out of the rut that they have been in in their life, we step in. We help to pay for their fines, we get them structurally ready for employment and we give them that second chance," said Chuck Espy, Mayor of Clarksdale.
The program was somewhat formed off the premise of two people who kept feuding and shooting at each other, trying to resolve it, the mayor brought in the families and after a discussion, they realized; one of the individuals wanted to leave Clarksdale while the other wanted to stay and change their life.
"So we've had a couple of scenarios that have unfolded to where one individual has moved out of the city and we've held with different moving experiences and we wish that individual all the best luck in the world. But we believe now that that person who has moved, they are receiving a higher quality of life than they received here. And, they have a fresh start, but in the other scenario, we have a had the opportunity to rehabilitate an individual." Said Espy.
The program is a five step program, it incorporates the city and the community, "we're using volunteers, the District Attorney's Office, every single entity, from the church to help rehabilitate that person." Says Espy.
A program, the mayor is proud of, because he says, he believes it could help many people, "we just felt that it was time that we invest in individuals who feel that they don't have an opportunity and guess what, the major part of this that we found out as we have been rolling out this particular plan. Is that people, they don't really care about what you know. They simply want to know that you care about them." Said, Mayor Espy.
The program is in the early stages, but Mayor Espy said, people are signing up and he is looking forward to help each and every one of them.
Clarksdale has had one murder since the beginning of the year.