SLU Transformative Justice Initiative Builds Bridges to Brighter Future
On a recent fall afternoon six women found themselves in caps and gowns in a decorated
gymnasium with a crowd that included family, friends and leaders who had supported
them and equipped them with the tools for the next step of their journey.
However, this graduation wasn’t taking place at a high school or on a college campus.
It was a bridging ceremony held at the Medium Security Institution in St. Louis. The
women were members of the third cohort of graduates in a jail-based transition program
partnership between Saint Louis University and the St. Louis Division of Corrections
that is equipping them to seek housing, employment and meet the challenges of daily
life outside the system.
The women are different in age, race and background but stand on a common ground of
having a better life. They are mothers, grandmothers and siblings. They are focused
on success and goals that include education, job skills, careers and being an example
of the power of change for their children, family members and friends.
The afternoon was filled with comments from the cohort members, peer mentors, corrections
personnel and the SLU partners who were at the ground level in developing the jail-based
transition program and work with each of the participants in the pre-release preparation
and provide leadership as they move forward.
Learn more about SLU’s Transformative Justice Initiative
Read more about the program and ceremony in a St. Louis Review story