April 25, 2024

MDOC Implements Sports Programs to Reduce Idleness and Promote Rehabilitation

Morgan Howard

Source: MDOC
Source: MDOC

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has rolled out a series of sports initiatives across state-run facilities. This initiative not only aims to keep inmates engaged but also aims to cultivate a sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie.

Among the various sports introduced are basketball, boxing, flag football, and softball. MDOC is establishing sports teams within all state-run facilities, promoting friendly competitions. This provides inmates with something to look forward to and participate in, which helps their overall morale and well-being.

The Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) recently hosted its inaugural boxing match in November, featuring teams from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. This month, MSP inmates squared off against each other in a display of skill and sportsmanship. Marc McClure, Superintendent of MSP, emphasized the positive impact of these events, stating,

“The inmates who participate have pre-match physicals and are required to take drug tests. The boxers get a special visit following their match where they can share a meal with their families. This has been beneficial in reducing behavioral problems and providing an additional tool to improve both inmate morale and reduce idleness.”

Source: MDOC
Source: MDOC
Source: MDOC
Source: MDOC

Randy Phillips, Chairman of the Mississippi Athletic Commission is helping with the training and safety compliance of these boxing events. Phillips ensures that all safety equipment meets the required standards, emphasizing the importance of safety during such activities.

During these boxing events, medical staff, ringside trainers, official judges, referees, and timekeepers are present to facilitate the matches, ensuring a safe and fair environment for all participants. Notably, the boxing ring was generously donated by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, with Marcy Croft, Jay-Z’s attorney, facilitating the donation and personally attending to witness the positive impact of the program.

Commissioner Burl Cain expressed the department’s commitment to utilizing sports activities as a means to combat idleness in prisons, stating,

“We encourage our inmates to be involved in sports activities as it battles idleness in prison. We have created many different teams to allow them to get out of their dorms and participate in being active.”

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