Founded in 1980, Bridges International (BI) is the largest, oldest and most successful private provider of re-entry programming in the state of Florida, providing a continuum of care in Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, Transition Centers, Community Release Centers, and Community Re-Entry Services Transitional Housing for offenders, ex-felons and probation populations. Frank Costantino, an ex-felon who was released in 1972 from the Florida Department of Corrections after serving time for burglary, opened up the first after-care resident program in Orlando, Florida, upon determining something was needed between prison and society to bridge the gap. What started as local ministry has now parlayed into a worldwide vision that serves more than 10,000 inmates and offenders annually.
Lori Costantino-Brown, Frank’s daughter, took on the leadership role as president and CEO of Bridges International in 2006 when Frank passed away. Her leadership has enhanced the program to meet the needs of evidence-based treatment in the 21st century. She stands behind Bridges International’s unwavering commitment to provide thousands of felony criminals the opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration into their communities as law-abiding and tax-paying citizens nationally and internationally.
Bridges International has the proven expertise in successfully addressing the requirements of the criminal justice system as well as in meeting the specialized substance abuse treatment and reintegration needs of the criminal justice population. BI has contracted with the Florida Department of Corrections since 1980, and has managed more than 125 contracts with the DOC and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Florida Probation and Parole Services, the county court systems and jails to service criminal justice populations. BI, in partnership with the Department of Corrections, developed the Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment Program model that allows offenders to become active participants in their personal recovery from addiction. BI has proven expertise in successfully addressing the requirements of the criminal justice system as well as in meeting the specialized substance abuse treatment and reintegration needs of the criminal justice population.
The Bridges International corporate office, operating with a highly competent team of more than 15 employees, effectively monitors contract compliance through quality assurance indicators, documentation and data collection, staff training, financial controls, and adherence to the Department of Corrections’ rules and regulations. They currently manage 12 facilities throughout Florida with an average total daily population of approximately 1,600 inmates and clients. In addition, Bridges Correctional Treatment provides Outpatient, Intervention, and Aftercare Treatment in five Department of Corrections Community Release Centers (Atlantic, Fort Pierce, Opa Locka, Orlando, and West Palm Beach) for a total of 245 program slots.