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Save Bridges of America from the Florida DOC 2016

This petition had 1,761 supporters


Stop The Florida DOC from closing Bridges of America Facilities

By the middle to end of May, 2016, the Florida Department of Corrections intends to close two of the most successful inmate re-entry programs in the state -  Broward County Bridge and Bradenton Bridge. There are 13 Bridges facilities within Florida, only these two are on state owned land.

The closures of these inmate re‐entry programs will:

  • cost Florida taxpayers an additional $1 million 
  • jeopardizes almost 100 private sector jobs
  • threatens public safety

These programs have a:

  • 90% success rate for participants in contrast without re‐entry services, 30% are back in prison in two years and 40% return in three years.

Ending this contract will abruptly put almost 300 inmates who are on the path to successful re-entry back in prison with little or no transition programs.

For more than 36 years Bridges has been proven partners with the Florida Department of Corrections. Their programs provide:

  • invaluable training and life‐skills benefits to the participants
  • local businesses with an extremely motivated skilled workforce
  • a pipeline of contributing productive citizens 

For 18 months before inmates are released from prison, the Bridges programs provide:

  • successful transition and re‐entry services
  • drug treatment
  • education - GED
  • life skills training 
  • reunification with family and friends job placement pre and post release

“I came to serve this program, but in the end, it serves me by seeing the truly amazing turnaround in these men’s lives,” said Rev. Ginery Twitchell of the Broward Bridge program. “It’s just wrong to take inmates who have worked hard, lived by the rules and successfully held jobs, and then throw them back in prison.”

Lori Brown, Bridges of America President was quoted saying, “This closure takes us in the wrong direction. Inmates have no way to succeed without effective transition programs.

On a personal note, my son is benefiting from Broward Bridges. Owning up to his mistakes and learning to live with addiction has brought him to this point.  Previously he was in the Everglades re-entry facility in Dade County.  Comparing Everglades to Bridges is not possible.  Bridges established programs, life skills education and qualified staff are the pinnacle of a re-entry program.  This is not a pilot project, it’s a proven partnership.

Please DO NOT close these facilities!

Bridges of America

Florida Governor Rick Scott

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