Powell Middle School boys get real-life lesson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Powell Middle School boys get real-life lesson

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HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On Wednesday, Powell Middle School boys learned what they would wear if they ever went to jail.

"They're gonna take your shoes, give you these," said Hinds County Sheriff's Office Captain Joseph Daughtry, showing jail-issue flip-flops and jumpsuits.

The boys also learned how their life would change if they turned to a life of crime. One by one, inmates walked onto the auditorium stage and shared their personal stories.

'About Face' is a program spearheaded by Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis. It allows young people to see that others do care about them.

Sheriff's Office Captain Joseph Daughtry did a lot of the talking to the boys.

"I had other people who took care of me while I was growing up. My mom worked a lot, but I had people who took time out, spent time with me. That's what it's all about, we gotta get back, stay in touch with the community, stay in touch with our youth, to understand what's really going on in their minds, what they're thinking," he said.

Daughtry says when the students start leaning forward in their seats during the presentations, it's a good sign they're listening to the message.

"We gotta do the right thing," said 7th grader Oliver Spann, Jr.

"We can't do what's wrong, we gotta do the right things," said Breland Duckworth, another 7th grader.

A group called "Just for Kids" is helping out also.

"We're in a rapid pace of losing these young people," said Just for Kids Vice President Greg Ward.

The non-profit organization has asked the principals of some of the schools to pick out the ten most troubled young men.

"We're gonna take those ten, gonna get to those kids, turn them around, bring them back to what they're supposed to be doing, being productive at schools, being productive at home," he told us.

Intense mentoring will be a big part of that program. 

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