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Coast native Dickie Scruggs, once known as perhaps the best trial attorney in the nation, is championing a new cause: literacy and adult education. It’s called “Second Chance Mississippi”, something he knows all too well about. Scruggs sat down with News 25 this weekend in an exclusive one-on-one interview about his new cause and the trials and errors that led him there.
He spent decades arguing, and often winning, landmark cases before a jury of 12. Today, Dickie Scruggs appeals to a different audience. In fact, he’s heading up a state wide push to help half a million high school drop outs in Mississippi get their degrees through his new non-profit group, “Second Chance Mississippi.”
It’s a new chapter in life for Scruggs, one discovered during a six year prison stint on judicial bribery charges. “I got the idea when I was teaching GED while I was away in prison,” said Scruggs, “I taught other inmates math, believe it or not, in prison. It helped them pass their GEDs. I saw for myself how rewarding it was for me and how it changed their lives.”
Scruggs gained national acclaim for winning big tobacco and asbestos cases, but is now disbarred forever from practicing law. But, the 68-year-old Coast native refuses to let his days go by without purpose. “The worst part about prison, for me, was losing a sense of purpose. Teaching GED gave me a second chance myself. It gave me a new purpose.”
Scruggs’ goal is to arm Mississippians so they can arm themselves with knowledge and turn to a new page and better chapter in their lives. “I started a non-profit foundation called “Second Chance Mississippi.” Its purpose is to be an advocacy group for adult education, principally GED and skill training. It’s a collaboration with Mississippi’s community colleges to get more awareness and raise funds for adult education,” said Scruggs.
To open the door for those, like him, who need a second chance and new direction in life.
Scruggs has been travelling the state as part of this initiative. He is currently working with local community colleges in our area to incorporate the “Second Chance Mississippi” program.


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