Concordance Academy of Leadership, led by president and CEO Danny Ludeman, has officially launched its services for incarcerated individuals set to leave prison.
Twenty-eight enrollees from three Missouri state prisons comprise the first portion of Concordance’s initial class. By the end of this year, Concordance is expected to enlist more than 60 justice-involved men and women releasing to the St. Louis area. By the end of 2017, the Academy expects to have approximately 320 participants and alumni.
“We at Concordance Academy are thrilled to begin offering what is the first holistic, integrated, and evidence-driven reentry services in the country,” Ludeman said. “We anticipate our services playing a major role in eliminating the revolving door of incarceration in our society.”
Nationally, 77 percent of individuals released from prison end up back in prison within three to five years. Concordance Academy aims to reduce reincarceration by one-third among its participants.
The Academy is part of the Concordance Initiative, a groundbreaking public-private-academic partnership that also includes the Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice. Led by founding director Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis, the Institute is the first research center in a school of social work dedicated to scientific discovery focusing on the issues of reincarceration. It has analyzed more than 107,500 studies worldwide to edify the Academy’s service model.
Concordance has partnered with the Missouri Department of Corrections, which allows the organization to start working with individuals six months before they are released from prison. Services are scheduled to continue for up to a year after release.
“Over the past year and a half, we have worked with the Concordance Initiative as they have done extensive research on reentry in order to develop this service model,” said George Lombardi, Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections. “To see the Academy now implementing this model and serving the needs of these individuals is positive progress – for those in the prison system, as well as for the larger community.”
Academy participants will receive assistance in three major areas: behavioral health and wellness; education and employment; and community and life skills. Throughout, the Initiative will utilize real-world research to better understand justice-involved adults, allowing the Academy to implement a best-practices service model that can be replicated across the country.
ABOUT CONCORDANCE ACADEMY
Concordance Academy is a St. Louis-based nonprofit that offers the country’s first set of integrated, holistic and evidence-driven services to individuals returning to society from prison. Led by President and CEO Danny Ludeman, the organization assists participants in three primary areas: behavioral health and wellness; education and employment; and community and life skills. The Academy starts working with individuals six months prior to release and continues assisting for up to a year after their return to the community. The organization is committed to restoring individuals, rebuilding families, transforming communities and advancing the field of re-entry services. For more info, visit www.concordanceacademy.com.