St. Michael Catholic Church

1801 Sage Rd. | Houston, Texas 77056

Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am-9:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am-5:00 pm

P: 713.621.4370 | F: 713.850.8341
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Bridges to Life

Bridges To Life Web

In Matthew’s gospel Jesus says,”…’I…was in prison and you visited me,’ Then the Righteous will answer Him and say…’Lord, when did we see you in prison and visit you?’ And, the King will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for me’ “.

Bridges To Life was founded in 1998 by Houstonian John Sage (a parishioner of St. Michael) after the brutal murder of his sister, Marilyn, in 1993. His sister's killers were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. John began to realize the terrible toll his sister's murder had taken on his life, the lives of everyone else in his family, Marilyn'sfriends,and the community. After reflection, prayer, and time, John was able to forgive his sister's murderers; and he realized that he had a place in his heart for all offenders. This life-changing experience inspired John to develop a rehabilitation program to take crime victims into the prison to work directly with offenders.

"After experiencing the gut-wrenching aftermath of my sister's murder, I have great empathy for victims of crime. Crime plunges innocent victims into a dark side of society that they do not ask for or deserve. Victims of crime are the very heart and soul of Bridges To Life," shares John.

By founding the Bridges To Life program, John was intent not only on bringing the same healing he had experienced to other victims of crime, but also on reducing the recidivism rates1 among offender participants and increasing community safety through the subsequent reduction in crime. The Bridges To Life mission has two main goals: (1) To reduce recidivism (re-offending) rates of program graduates, thus making our communities safer; and (2) To facilitate the healing process for victims and offenders. Since 2000, Bridges To Life has completed 537 projects in 42 Texas prisons and continues to implement projects in prisons throughout Texas.

With the assistance of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and other essential partners, Bridges To Life has scheduled86projects in33Texas prisons, plus juvenile and prison alternative facilities in 2014. Our goal is to graduate 3,300 offenders from Bridges To Life programs with the help of more than 400 volunteers.

The Bridges To Life curriculum has been used in prisons in ten states and 3 foreign countries. To date, more than 19,500 offenders have graduated from the BTL program here in Texas! Independent studies have verified that the Bridges To Life program in Texas achieves a recidivism rate of 18.6% compared to a national average of between 38% and 40%2. Of those returning to prison, 14.2% return for new crimes; 2.4% for technical violations; and, only 2.0% for violent crimes.

BTL is a rapidly expanding and needs more volunteers.  It only requires a willing heart and a good listener, and YOU can make a difference in the lives of others.  If you are interested, please contact John Sage by email or telephone ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 713-463-7200).

For more information about Bridges To Life please go to our website at www.bridgestolife.org.

1An offender is considered to have recidivated if, after release from prison, he/she commits a new crime or violates the term of his/her parole within 3 years and is re-incarcerated.

2 PEW Center State Recidivism Study - 2011

 

History and Mission


The mission of Bridges To Life (BTL) is to connect communities to prisons in an effort to reduce the recidivism rate (particularly that resulting from violent crimes), reduce the number of crime victims, and enhance public safety.  The spiritual mission of Bridges To Life is to minister to victims and offenders in an effort to show them the transforming power of God’s love and forgiveness.

Bridges To Life was founded in 1998 by Houstonian John Sage after the brutal murder of his sister, Marilyn, in 1993. His sister’s killers were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. John began to realize the terrible toll his sister’s murder had taken on his life, the lives of everyone else in his family, Marilyn’s friend,s and the community. After reflection, prayer, and time, John was able to forgive his sister’s murderers; and he realized that he had a place in his heart for all offenders. This life-changing experience inspired John to develop a rehabilitation program to take crime victims into the prison to work directly with offenders.

"After experiencing the gut-wrenching aftermath of my sister’s murder, I have great empathy for victims of crime. Crime plunges innocent victims into a dark side of society that they do not ask for or deserve. Victims of crime are the very heart and soul of Bridges To Life,” shares John.

By founding the Bridges To Life program, John was intent not only on bringing the same healing he had experienced to other victims of crime, but also on reducing the recidivism rates* among offender participants and increasing community safety through the subsequent reduction in crime. The Bridges To Life program has two main goals:  (1) To reduce recidivism (re-offending) rates of program graduates, thus making our communities safer; and (2) To facilitate the healing process for victims and offenders.  Since 2000, Bridges To Life has completed 537 projects in 42 Texas prisons and continues to implement projects in prisons throughout Texas.

With the assistance of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and other essential partners, Bridges To Life has scheduled 84 projects in 31 Texas prisons, plus juvenile and prison alternative facilities in 2014.  Our goal is to graduate 3,300 offenders from Bridges To Life programs with the help of more than 400 volunteers.  The Bridges To Life curriculum has been used in prisons in ten states and 3 foreign countries.   To date, more than 19,500 offenders have graduated from the BTL program!

- See more at: http://www.bridgestolife.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=37#sthash.yZ6hDl73.dpuf

 

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