ST. LOUIS – Seven out of 10 people who go to prison and get out will go back again. Recidivism is an epidemic in the St. Louis region and the rest of the nation.
When Danny Ludeman retired as head of St. Louis-based Wells Fargo Advisors in 2013, he said he did so to be selfless and then turned his attention towards reducing the over 70 percent rate of people returning to prison after getting out.
“It’s been proven that 55 to 60 percent of all crime in St. Louis that everybody’s talking about now and in the country is committed by former incarcerated individuals,” said Ludeman, CEO of the Concordance Academy of Leadership.
In the last three-plus years, Concordance Academy, Ludeman's project, has worked with about 500 men and women and reduced local recidivism rates by a remarkable 40 percent. He points to the fact they’re able to offer 12 unique programs under one umbrella. They treat and heal the total person and help them get a job and housing.
Ludeman said most have suffered severe trauma.
“We mean either shot, stabbed, raped, physically beaten or seen a loved one murdered in front of them, almost all of them by age of 9,” he said.
Ludeman said the recidivism rate hasn’t really changed in 30 years because programs have been underfunded. But he reminds people not to overlook an issue that affects everyone and could have a huge societal and economic impact by keeping people out of prison and in the workforce.
Ludeman said he has plans of expanding Concordance in Missouri and all over the country. Their program serves people over the age of 18. He commends local financial support for the success that is taking place.
“I’m devoting every ounce of energy, resources, relationships I have for this for the rest of my life,” he said.
You can help support the mission of Concordance Academy by purchasing tickets to their upcoming gala event on Saturday, October 19 at the Ritz-Carlton at concordanceacademy.org/gala, by calling 314-396-6019 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.