Who We Serve-Adults
Bridges To Life was founded to help victims of crime, offenders, and the community. The Restorative Justice Model upon which the Bridges To Life program is based, emphasizes the importance of the involvement of victims, offenders, and the community in the criminal justice system. In this way, victims are involved in the process, giving them a chance to “tell their story”, which, in turn, encourages the offender to accept responsibility and cease to commit further crimes. The primary objectives of Restorative Justice are (from Restorative Justice: An Overview, 1998):
To attend fully to the victim’s (and the needs of those close to the victim) material, financial, emotional, and social needs
- To prevent recidivism by integrating offenders into the community
- To enable offenders to assume active responsibility for their actions
- To re-create a working community that supports the rehabilitation of offenders and victims and is active in preventing crime
- To provide a means of avoiding the escalation of legal justice and its associated costs and delays
- To enhance public safety
With the assistance of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and other essential partners, Bridges To Life has scheduled 123 projects in 63 prisons, juvenile, and alternative facilities in 2015. Our goal is to graduate 4,500 offenders from Bridges To Life programs with the help of over 550 volunteers.Since its inception, more than 25,500 offenders have graduated from the BTL program!
Bridges To Life serves victims of crime, offenders, and the community. Volunteers come from all walks of life, are between the ages of 21 and 85, and may or not have been the victim of a violent crime.
Offenders attend the Bridges To Life program voluntarily. In 2014, offender participants were between the ages of 14 and 75. Racial and Gender demographics* are illustrated in the charts below.
*Based on 2,806 total offender graduates; racial demographics extrapolated from rates by TDCJ 2012