who we are | why we do
By any metric, the war on drugs in America has been a colossal failure. The United States has the highest per capita incarceration rate of any developed nation in the world. More than 80 percent of the 2.3 million people behind bars in our country meet the diagnostic criteria for addiction or have been incarcerated for drug-related charges. Nearly half of the people who enter our criminal justice system go on to commit other offenses. On average, a person facing jail time for a drug-related charge will return to jail four more times during his or her lifetime, escalating into a pattern of continual incarceration.
In Iowa alone, 12,700 people are incarcerated every year, and 65% of those people meet the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse. In its 20 years, Bridges of Iowa has helped thousands of people overcome substance abuse and escape the cycle of criminality. This help has in turn benefited tens of thousands of people in the central Iowa community.
We invite you to a better life.
Bridges of Iowa graduates will live free from substance abuse and criminality, become contributing members of their families and society, and continue to explore and to develop their individual faith.
Faith, Hope, and Love, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance.
The idea for Bridges of Iowa began with Anthony Lamberti’s discovery of the book Holes in Time by Frank Costantino. Moved by his success in helping criminal-justice-involved individuals transition back into society, Don and Charlene Lamberti set out to replicate the results of his Bridges of America program in Iowa. Don traveled to Florida with his friends, Larry James, Sr. and Tom Jackowski, to see the Bridges of America program firsthand. As a result of that trip, Bridges of Iowa was founded on August 30, 1999 with the support of an initial $2.1 million gift from Donald and Charlene Lamberti. In it’s nearly 20 years, Bridges of Iowa has helped hundreds of Iowans to transform their lives.