Our Mission and Vision
The mission of Concordance is to dramatically reduce reincarceration rates by precisely and rigorously executing our holistic, integrated, evidence-informed re-entry model, focusing equally on process and art.
Our vision is to be the best there is in understanding justice-involved adults, working in partnership on their journey of healing by offering a community of effective engagement, counseling, and teaching. Through our work, we are developing the leadership traits of strong character, wisdom, and service; are enhancing their faith in God; and are building the skills that help participants to both improve the vitality and safety of their community and to live joyful, abundant, and purposeful lives with their families.
Mass Incarceration Cannot Be Ignored
Reincarceration has a devastating impact on not only the individual, but also their families, communities and our society at large. By ending the cycle, we can end its downstream effects of increased unemployment, homelessness, mental health and substance use disorders, ongoing crime, and more.
of people released from prison are rearrested within five years.
Reduction in reincarceration rate among our participants in St. Louis since 2015.
Our re-entry model offers the first set of holistic, integrated and evidence-informed services in the country. It’s unlike any other model — and it works.
It Began with a Calling
In the fall of 2013, Danny Ludeman announced his retirement as CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors and decided to dedicate his life to helping others. A board member of Project COPE wrote Danny a letter and told him the frightening fact that 77% of individuals released from prison are rearrested within five years, and that number had not changed in 30 years. He was called to help, and with that, Concordance was established.
Danny Ludeman learns the devastating facts about reincarceration rates and decides to gather a group of experts to study the issue.
Ludeman gathers 70+ people to develop a strategic planning process, including the governor of Missouri, head of the Missouri Department of Corrections, re-entry experts from Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, three mayors, two police chiefs, and other community and nonprofit leaders.
Concordance hires the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis to research evidence- and trauma-informed randomized controlled trials. They studied over 107,000 interventions and selected 32 interventions that became the foundation for the Concordance Re-Entry Model.
Concordance Academy of Leadership is founded to dramatically reduce reincarceration rates, and the Concordance Institute is founded to serve as the research arm of the nonprofit.
Concordance hosts its first annual gala, featuring retired General Colin Powell, raising over $2 million to support the new organization.
Concordance enrolls its first class of participants and begins providing pre-release services to individuals releasing from three Missouri state prisons.
Concordance partners with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to create the Bryan Cave Legal Fellows Program. The program provides pro bono legal services to Concordance participants.
Concordance opens a St. Louis facility designed to provide post-release services. Concordance House, a sober residential living facility for participants, is also established.
Concordance Employment Agency is created to employ participants through job opportunities with industry employment partners in retail, food service, and light industrial roles. Within a year, the supported employment model is in full swing, including workplace simulation and part-time employment.
Concordance reports its first rates of reduction in reincarceration among its participants: 46%. The initial goal set by Washington University in St. Louis was to reduce reincarceration rates by 33%, and results have surpassed that goal ever since.
Concordance begins providing services to individuals releasing from one Illinois state prison.
Concordance launches the First Chance Campaign, a $50 million fundraising effort chaired by David Steward, founder and chair of World Wide Technology, to raise funds to scale the model nationwide.
Concordance opens its headquarters office in St. Louis in preparation for national expansion.
Concordance Academy of Leadership changes its name to Concordance to better reflect the diversity of services it provides to participants.