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Bridges to Life: A Promising Faith-Based Prison Intervention for Substance Use  

Author:  Marilyn P. Armour.

Source: Volume 04, Number 06, November/December 2004 , pp.81-86(6)

Offender Substance Abuse Report

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Bridges to Life (BTL) is a low-cost, in-prison, faith-based, voluntary program that uses a restorative justice approach to help pre-release inmates come to terms with their offenses and learn to deal with them in rehabilitative and redemptive ways. Bridges to Life operates in 15 Texas prisons and has completed 51 projects serving more than 1,500 inmates since 2000. To date, only 12.4% of post-release BTL participants have been re-incarcerated, a figure that stands in stark contrast to the usual three-year recidivism rate of 31.4% in Texas (Criminal Justice Policy Council, 2000). Although Bridges to Life has not been tested for its impact on substance abuse, the overwhelming evidence for a strong relationship between substance use and crime suggests that the low recidivism rate may be influenced by reduced substance use. The author elaborates.

Keywords: faith based practices; reentry

Affiliations:  1: University of Texas School of Social Work.

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