THE BRIDGE – ABOUT US
For over 40 years The BRIDGE has maintained its founding mission ‘to create a “bridge” between correctional institutions and the street’. Our long standing programs have enabled countless numbers of offenders, adult and youth to successfully and safely reintegrate back into the community, regaining their lives becoming contributing members of society and most importantly – no longer posing a threat to the community at large.
Our dedicated staff and volunteers cross the ‘bridge’ into correctional facilities, visiting the men where they live. In providing our unique spiritual and practical personal support we, fulfill our communal calling to ‘visit prisoners’. Our institutional programs, are based on the principles of “restorative justice”; challenging old ideas and attitudes, holding the men accountable and focusing on recovery and serious change. Our purpose is simple; to create healthy, honest relationships that will extend into the community, further enhancing their chances for success.
Re-Integration remains an important aspect of The Bridge, it’s really where the rubber hits the road. Our hands-on personal support is key to the success of the returning offender. Our numerous community resources strengthen our ability to provide almost every type of assistance needed to ensure a safe re-entry back into community. While we advocate for the offender, we are also very aware of our responsibility to the community itself and we work hard to ensure the safety of all. We aim for “no more victims” and our many successes speak loudly for themselves.
Within the community The BRIDGE facilitates support groups and both organizes and participates in numerous community events which assists ex-offenders as they struggle to re-integrate and become useful contributing members of society. Our community programs are highly regarded by the community, the volunteers and by the men themselves. Our efforts at creating a caring community, capable of “Welcoming a Stranger/Prisoner”, have allowed us to successfully reintegrate many and to grow closer to our goal of a crime free community.
Another important role for The BRIDGE has always been advocacy. Not only for our clients directly but also for a restorative and just community. This responsibility is becoming even more important as society is understandably becoming increasingly intolerant of crime and violence. We advocate for a more compassionate approach to justice including community corrections as an alternative to incarceration, but we also promote personal responsibility and accountability by the offender including plans for restitution and reconciliation
We do this important work in a number of ways;
- by speaking in churches, schools and interested community groups
- by developing and nurturing supportive resources,
- by holding our clients accountable
- and by always remaining respectful and sensitive to the community especially the victims.
Our Executive Director, staff and our men speak often to a variety of audiences; including churches, schools and community functions and we are willing to accommodate most requests. (see; Contact Us)