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Group aims to help inmates get back on their feet

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Getting inmates back on the right track so they don't re-offend is the mission of the Memphis and Shelby County of Reentry.

They told WREG a third of all inmates in Shelby County will do just that, entering a never-ending cycle of crime.

"This is what we`re trying to do to stop that revolving door," said Phyllis Fickling.

It's a multi-step program aimed at getting people just released from prison back on their feet as contributing members of society.

"That is the biggest thing that we promote — self-sufficiency. And we`re trying to teach them certain things to not recidivate," said Adrian Parker who is currently being trained in the program.

Their next step, they told WREG, is to take the program to the prisons themselves with a new series of trainings for prison staffers.

On Friday, representatives from four different prisons came together to get certified in the program which emphasizes a system of care similar to what you would find in a hospital.

"When you get a diagnosis from a medical model, the doctor doesn`t just send you out and let you figure that out on your own," said Fickling.

The prison staff here Friday said they hope to be able to prescribe their inmates some important tools for life outside of prison

"Some of the basic things that they need when they get out are birth certificates. They can actually get that while they`re in."

But perhaps the biggest tool of all- motivation.

"Okay, you`re in jail. Who`s thinking about feeling good about anything? So we`re there."