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Prisoner Reentry

ARCHS' Culinary Arts Program Graduates 12 Ex-Offenders

ARCHS' Culinary Arts Program graduated 12 female ex-offenders on July 23, after they completed an eight-week class at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park.

Participants in the program are currently under state or federal supervision with probation and parole officers in St. Louis City or County. They received academic culinary training leading to "ServSafe" certification. They will also receive job training from St. Louis Community College and job placement, wrap around social services support, and life skills preparation from Employment Connection.

ARCHS' program will allow female participants access to traditionally male career paths such as chef, head cook, line cook, institutional cook, and more in the culinary field. According to a National Institute of Corrections Report, the number of incarcerated women has skyrocketed, at rates exceeding men.

"This unique partnership is a crucial component to decreasing recidivism dates for these participants," said Les Johnson, ARCHS' Vice President of Family and Community Programs. "They will have access to training by a nationally accredited and recognized culinary arts school, which will assist them with a second chance."

ARCHS partners with Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Employment Connection, and St. Louis Community College to provide this program to female ex-offenders.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay Engage More than 225 Reentry Experts at STAR Summit

The Fourth Annual STAR Summit welcomed more than 225 area reentry experts to discuss "Road to Reentry: Are We There Yet?"

In addition, City of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Sam Dotson spoke about reentry from a law enforcement perspective, Representative Lacy Clay discussed reentry and how it effects his constituents, and Missouri Probation and Parole Regional Administrator Nancy McCarthy and ARCHS' Vice President Les Johnson discussed the role of STAR over the past four years.

In addition, Missouri Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, and City of St. Louis Director of Human Services William Siedhoff provided opening remarks and an overview of reentry in the region and state. Dr. Fred Rottnek (Saint Louis University) gave a presentation called "Mental Health Continuum: From Jail to Community" and Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis (Washington University) talked about engaging the family in the reentry process.

The Summit is hosted by the St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR) and is sponsored by ARCHS, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Missouri Department of Corrections, St. Louis Community College, St. Louis City, and St. Louis County.

Ex-Offender and Family Get an Early Present from ARCHS, Ranken Technical College, and Other Donors

An ex-offender who graduated from ARCHS' 2008 prisoner reentry program in automotive technology was given a fully refurbished vehicle from Ranken Technical College as part of the Recycled Rides Program.

Antonio Bobo, along with his wife and five children, were presented with a 2006 Ford Taurus on December 4 from Ranken Vice President of Student Success John Wood.

Antonio participated in ARCHS' reentry program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (2007-2008) that served 650 federal and state ex-offenders served (exceeding goal of 480). ARCHS' program secured 350 job placements (such as Bobo's) with a combined annual payroll valued at more than $5.6 million.

With the assistance of ARCHS, Bobo graduated from Ranken in 2008 with a certificate in automotive light maintenance training. Today, Bobo is an assistant manager at the Jiffy Lube in University City.

This program is not currently funded, and no cars or reentry training programs through ARCHS and Ranken are available at this time.

Offender Reentry and Substance Abuse White Paper

More than 270 Attend STAR Summit II
New White Paper Released

The first in a series of “white papers” issued by the St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR) is being released today (Tuesday, March 15) during a regional summit addressing prisoner reentry topics. Today’s summit is providing the community with an update on STAR’s 2010 accomplishments and 2011 goals. A documented rise in the use of heroin throughout the St. Louis region will be a topic of the summit. More than 270 people are attending STAR’s second annual community summit that features speakers such as Missouri Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and prisoner reentry experts.

Read more: Offender Reentry and Substance Abuse White Paper