Ballmer Group grant will be used to scale first-of-its-kind non-profit’s proven model to reduce reincarceration rates nationally.
AUGUST 25, 2021, St. Louis, MO — Concordace, a CARF accredited, non-profit re-entry program headquartered in St. Louis, announced today it received a $7 million grant from Ballmer Group, the philanthropic organization co-founded by Connie and Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer Group awarded Concordance the grant to help expand its mission of ending mass incarceration, one of the biggest issues our country faces, affecting more than 100 million Americans, most notably 30 million felons who are disproportionately Black.
Typically 77%, or four out of five people, released from prison are rearrested within five years. Concordance has a proven track record for reducing recidivism, a major cause of mass incarceration, by offering the country’s first integrated, holistic, and evidence-informed services to individuals returning to society from prison. Over the last five years, Concordance has lowered reincarceration rates among its participants by 44% and has helped its graduates re-enter society to become heads of households, leading families and engaging in their children’s lives.
“Mass incarceration disproportionately affects Black families and communities, especially young Black men, and over 10 million children across the U.S. who have experienced parental incarceration at some point during their childhood. These inequities have severe economic, societal, and individual implications, and the effects can last for generations,” said Loren Harris, Ballmer Group’s Executive Director, National Impact. “We are proud to partner with Concordance to make sure that more returning citizens and their families have a real chance to succeed.”
“The best way to end mass incarceration is to end reincarceration,” said Danny Ludeman, president and CEO of Concordance. “The cycle of reincarceration is an underlying systemic issue that destroys families and communities across our country. But we’ve found a way to reduce recidivism — by focusing on giving formerly incarcerated individuals a holistic array of support they need to heal and succeed.
“With the support from Ballmer Group, we can take our proven model to new places and help our participants lead joyful, abundant, and purposeful lives. I’m eternally grateful for their enthusiasm for our partnership, belief in our participants, and faith in our mission.”
Ballmer Group grant is helping Concordance scale this successful model and open up operations in its next U.S. city. Last July, Concordance announced its intention to expand to 11 new cities to prevent people from going back to prison, cut crime and save governments millions of dollars. Plans to enter the first of these cities are underway.
Concordance was founded by Ludeman, former president and CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors, and is supported by notable business executives, prominent civic leaders, and respected academics nationwide. The organization is the first of its kind in treating formerly incarcerated individuals through a holistic, individualized, integrated, and evidence-informed model that was developed in partnership with the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the nation’s most acclaimed schools for social work.
Concordance works with NORC at the University of Chicago, which is conducting an ongoing evaluation of the organization to explore the effectiveness of its reentry programming. Concordance also recently received accreditation from CARF, the international accrediting body that establishes and evaluates standards for health and human service programs and services. The organization achieved its CARF Three-Year Term of Accreditation through rigorous peer review and onsite assessments.
“We are proud of our success so far but are so grateful for the support from Ballmer Group, which will help us take this success to new communities nationwide and break the cycle of reincarceration,” said Ludeman.
Concordance is a St. Louis-based CARF-accredited non-profit that offers the country’s first set of integrated, holistic, and evidence-informed services to individuals returning to society from prison. The program assists participants in three primary areas: behavioral health and wellness; education and employment; and community and life skills. Concordance starts working with individuals six months prior to release and continues assisting for up to a year after their return to the community. Founded by President and CEO Danny Ludeman, Concordance is committed to restoring individuals, reuniting families, transforming communities, and advancing the field of re-entry services. For more information, visit www.concordanceacademy.org. Resources for news media including fact sheets, photos, and videos are available at https://concordance.org/media-kit/
About Ballmer Group
Ballmer Group is committed to reducing and eliminating economic and racial opportunity barriers. We focus on multiple issues and areas that can impact economic mobility, such as early learning, K-12 education, youth development, college and career pathways, housing, health, and criminal justice. We are both a national and regional funder – we have a presence and invest deeply in southeast Michigan, Washington state, and Los Angeles County. Ballmer Group was co-founded by philanthropist and civic activist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, founder of USAFacts, and chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers. Learn more at www.ballmergroup.org and on Twitter @BallmerGroup.