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Bridges To Life (BTL) is a faith-based victim/prison ministry that draws from the principles of Restorative Justice. Bridges To Life (BTL) brings healing to victims of crime, reduces recidivism among offender graduates of the program, and heps make our community a safer place. The mission of Bridges To Life (BTL) is to connect communities to prisons in an effort to reduce the recidivism rate (particularly that resulting from violent crimes), reduce the number of crime victims, and enhance public safety. The spiritual mission of Bridges to Life is to minister to victims and offenders in an effort to show them the transforming power of God's love and forgiveness.
Bridges To Life is a 14-week commitment. We go into the prison one night a week with a team of 10-12 volunteers and work in small groups comprised of approximately 10 offenders and 2 volunteer facilitators. There is a minimum of 4 victim impact speakers for each project and a curriculum that covers one topic each week.
- Geting Started
- Crime and Conflict
- The Journey
Three documents guide the program: the Bridges to Life Study Guide, a book, Restoring Peace - Using Lessons from Prison to Mend Broken Relationships, and the Bible.
In order to complete the program and graduate, the offenders have to complete several requirements:
- attend class every week and participate in discussion
- do 2 hours of homework each week
- tell their stories
- write and read 2 letters described in Week 10 of the Study Guide
- maintain confidentiality
The two primary goals are:
- to reduce recividism
- to facilitate the healing process