Our Mission

who we are | why we do

the problem

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.

our mission

We invite you to a better life.

our vision

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.

our values

Faith, Hope, and Love, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance.

brief history

The idea for Bridges of Iowa began with Anthony Lamberti’s discovery of the book Holes in Time by Frank Constantino. 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.

Bridges of Iowa, Inc. is a registered 501 (c)(3) organization that effectively helps those involved with the criminal justice system as a result of drug-related offenses to reintegrate into society as productive, thriving members of their communities. Our goal is to get qualifying men and women out of jail, free them from addictions, and give them the tools they need to avoid returning to a pattern of substance abuse and crime. All of our services are directed at empowering our clients to transform their lives permanently through faith, hope, and compassion.

board of directors

Larry James

Bridges of Iowa – Chairman of the Board

Don Lamberti

Bridges of Iowa – Founder, Chairman Emeritus

Father Thomas DeCarlo

Bishop Drumm Retirement Center – Chaplain

John Conway

Regenexx – Executive Vice President Of Operations

Nolden Gentry

Brick Gentry, P.C. – Founding Partner

Julie Jackowski

Casey’s General Store – Senior Vice President, Corporate General Counsel

Tom Jackowski

Bridges of Iowa – CEO

Patrick McManus

Rock in Prevention – Founder