Ex and current convicts create play to ease transition into community

NOW: Ex and current convicts create play to ease transition into community

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind.-- From the jail cell to center stage, a group of current and former South Bend convicts will be featured in a play.

The stage production looks to show the importance of the community’s role in the transition from prison to society.

In December of 2019, on stage at the Civic Theater in South Bend, a message of redemption was shared to the community.

Why were you in prison?

“I was convicted of murder," said former convict, Jamarcus Fields.

Jarmacus fields, along with a group of former and current convicts performed 'Heartless' at the South Bend Civic Theater.

Now the group is taking their message to a stage in Marshall County.

“A part of what makes this play so powerful is that there’s that level of credibility. That credibility is pivotal to reach the youth because at that age, you feel like you have the world all figured out," said Fields.

That credibility connecting in ways that other programs in Marshall County just can’t.

“I was just really struck listening it to it. I felt that it was necessary to share it. I wanted to bring it to Marshall County I just didn’t know how. We’re trying to break that barrier down, there are resourced but we’re limited because of where we’re at and what our geographical set up is," said Marshall County Community Corrections case manager, Charles Bowen Jr..

“Do you believe you had a play like this at your age when everything happened, do you think that would’ve made a difference?”

“I whole-heartedly believe it would have. I've watched the prison environment get younger and younger. By the time I left, prison looked like boy school. When you sit back and look at that, it’s gratifying to know that you did something good, and you’re on the right path," said Fields. 

'Heartless' will be performed at the Plymouth High School auditorium January 26th.

Entrance will be free, but are taking donations with all proceeds being donated to David's Courage and the Marshall County Neighborhood Center.

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