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BOA Newsletter

Letter from Lori Constantino-Brown, President and CEO

Dear Friends:

I am writing to you with an urgent request as a friend, community partner, and supporter of the Broward and Bradenton Bridges Substance Abuse Transition and Re-Entry Centers of which both were pilot programs, established in 2005 to provide much needed services for men and women to aid in the successful return to their communities upon release from prison.

Once again, we have received notification that the Broward facility will be closed on May 16, 2016 and the possibility of Bradenton closing on July 24, 2016 when its current contract expires. We faced this same challenge in 2012 when the Department of Corrections notified us that they would be closing these two facilities due to budgetary shortfalls.

The Broward and Bradenton Substance Abuse Transition and Re-Entry Centers are the most successful models for re-entry services in Broward and Manatee as well as the surrounding counties providing men and women with services to help aid in their successful transition with proven results.

On March 22, 2016 in an internal memorandum from the Department of Corrections, I was notified that they rejected our recent proposal to continue operation of both the Broward and Bradenton facilities due to receiving only one responsive bid which was from Bridges. The Department of Corrections stated they would be re-issuing the bid request to seek additional competition. We asked for an extension to our contracts so that these centers could continue serving the men and women while a new bid request was issued. We were not granted the extensions.

Please keep in mind that over our 35 year history of service with the Department of Corrections, it is common for us to have no competitive bids against us. Historically, the Department of Corrections simply awards to the sole bidder.

In a conversation with the Department on April 11, 2016, our attorneys were informed that the Department of Corrections had now determined that they needed to close the Broward facility because the Department needs space currently utilized by the Broward program to use for other Department functions, including Probation and Parole offices. [Preview Letter Here]

Given the importance of these SATREC programs (the Department’s own recidivism report of 2014 indicated that men and women in community transition centers have a recidivism rate of only 10% and 5% respectively), and particularly with the long-standing success of the Broward (Pompano) SATREC and Bradenton SATREC programs, Bridges of America is devastated to learn that the Department will end this critical program in one of the most populated areas of our state and implores the Department to reconsider this drastic decision.

The impact of this decision affects several layers of stakeholders, from our partnering private employers for the work release inmates, to the Bridges employees at the facility, to the families of the inmates who are key partners in their loved one’s rehabilitation, and of course the inmates themselves who are preparing to re-enter our communities after time spent in the system.

In order to avoid the tragic human and economic costs of the proposed closure, I urge you to immediately contact Julie Jones, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections at jones.julie@mail.dc.state.fl.us or at 501 S. Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, FL, 32399-2500. Additionally, please contact Governor Rick Scott at http://www.flgov.com/contaact-govscott/email-the-governor/ or Executive Office of the Governor, 400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001 and copy your state Senator and Representative. Visit www.leg.state.fl.us to identify who they are.

On behalf of the men and their families who will be returned to prison upon closure, I urge you to join me in our efforts “To Keep the Bridge Open”.

Sincerely,

Lori Costantino-Brown
CEO/President
Bridges of America, Inc.

 

We believe people can change.

Bradenton Bridge Family Day

Saturday, April 4, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Please contact Chaplain Burke 941.932.9030 x3210

Broward County Bridge Family Day

Saturday, April 4, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Please contact Chaplain Terpstra 954.358.2650

Jacksonville Bridge Transition Center Graduation

Thursday, April 16, 2015
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Please contact Chaplain Brown 904.345.5967

Broward County & Turning Point Bridges Graduation

 Thursday, March 26, 2015
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Location: Broward County Bridge

Please contact Chaplain Duane Terpstra 954.358.2650

Orlando Bridge Family Day

Thursday, March 5, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Please contact Chaplain Molleturo 407.291.1500 x2447

Jacksonville Bridge Transition Center Spring Family Day

Saturday, March 21, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Please contact Chaplain Brown 904.345.5967

Back To School Backpack Family Day

 Saturday, August 15, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Family. Service. Community.

Jacksonville (Non-Secure) Family Day – Independence Day Celebration

Sunday, June 28, 2015
12:00PM to 4:00PM

Please contact Chaplain Dawson 904.345.5987

Santa Fe Family Day

Saturday, April 4, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Please contact Chaplain Brakefield 352.240.0861

Orlando Back To School Backpack Family Day

Saturday, August 15, 2015 9:00 AM to 3:00 PMFamily. Service. Community.

BOA 35th Anniversary Gala

Saturday, October 24, 2015 7:00 to 10:00PM Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Dr., Orlando, FL 32819

Jacksonville CRC Family Day

Saturday, June 27, 2015 12:00 to 4:00PM

Bradenton Father’s Day Family Day

Saturday, June 21, 2015 12:00 to 4:00PM

Jacksonville TC Family Day

Saturday, June 20, 2015 12:00 to 4:00PM

Orlando Bridge TC/WR Graduation

Friday, July 17, 2015 10:00AM*Luncheon to follow at Orlando Bridge TC For more information, email: aking@bridgesofamerica.org

Auburndale Bridge Graduation

Thursday, July 9, 2015 7:00PM602 Melton Avenue, Auburndale, FL 33823
RSVP by July 3, 2015 to 863-967-8190

Bradenton Bridge Alumni Day

Saturday, July 11, 20159:00am – 11:00am *Lunch Provided.RSVP to Chaplain Burke @ 941.932.9030 ext. 3210

Cocoa Bridge – Back to School Family Day

Saturday, August 8, 2015 10:00am – 1:00pm *Lunch Provided, Free Back-Packs, School Supplies. E-mail Chaplain Wade at: bwade@bridgesofamerica.com to RSVP by Sunday July 12, 2015. Note: Children must be present to receive a backpack. Only the natural children, adopted children and step-children of inmates may participate. Only those children whose names are on the sign-up sheet will get backpacks/supplies.Age limit—children 4—13 years of age

TBCB – Back To School Family Day

Saturday, August 08, 2015 — — –

TPB – Back To School Family Day

Saturday, August 15, 2015 — — –

Jacksonville Bridge TC Graduation

Monday, November 16, 2015 10:00AM

Christmas Family Day – *Orlando/Broward/Jacksonville Bridge TC

Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:00AM – 3:00PM

*at respective sites.

Orlando Bridge TC & CRC – Graduation/Completion Ceremony

Friday, January 22, 2016 @St. Dismas Church 10:00AM

Auburndale Bridge Graduation

Thursday, November 05, 2015 602 Melton Ave. Auburndale, Fl. 33823 7:00PM *RSVP to 863-967-8190

Bradenton Bridge Thanksgiving Luncheon On-Site

Friday, November 20, 2015 On-Site 12:00PM – 2:00PM

Bradenton Bridge Founder’s Day Celebration

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 9:00AM – 11:00AM

Bradenton Bridge Graduation

Thursday, December 10, 2015 11:00AM

Christmas Family Day *Bradenton & Turning Point Bridge

Saturday, December 19, 2015 9:00AM – 3:00PM
*at respective sites.

Bradenton Bridge Christmas Dinner

Thursday, December 17, 2015 5:00PM Cody’s on Cortez Boulevard

Out with the Old/In with the New Ceremony

Thursday, December 31, 2015 6:00PM – 7:00PM

Christmas Day

Friday, December 25, 2015 Corporate Offices closed in observance of Christmas Day

New Year’s Day

Friday, January 1, 2016 Corporate Offices closed in observance of New Year’s Day

Bridges Employee Christmas Party

Friday, December 11, 2015 5:00PM *See invite distributed internally for details.

Jacksonville Bridge – 1st TAILS Dog Program Graduation

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 2:30PM

Orlando Bridge TC & CRC – Graduation/Completion Ceremony

Friday, January 22, 2016 10:00AM

Jacksonville Bridge TC – Family Day

Saturday, March 5, 2016 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Auburndale Bridge – Graduation

Thursday, March 10, 2016 7:00PM

Jacksonville Bridge CRC – Family Day

Saturday, March 12, 2016 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Auburndale Bridge – Luncheon

Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:00PM

Orlando Bridge – Easter Family Day

Saturday, March 19, 2016 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Orlando Bridge TC– Graduation

Thursday, April 14, 2016 10:30AM