Andre Staton, of the Marion Dream Chasers, said the group has given him purpose and built his confidence. He sees the same in many of his fellow members.
“To have this club (the X-Treme Speakers) and our club, that means something positive can happen in prison,” Staton said.
About 50 inmates attended the competition, which was held in the prison’s wellness center.
In the end, the Marion Dream Chasers won the competition, but both sides cheered one another on.
“The Gavel Clubs have been responsible for the confidence it has built in the men. It has meant a lot,” said Chris Southerland, MCI warden.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.