A MESSAGE FROM ANTHONY D'AGOSTINO,
The Golden Rule – “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” – is commonly known, preached and practiced by all of the world’s major religious and cultural traditions. It is embedded in our social construct on how we treat others, except when it comes to the most vulnerable. As a society, we have fostered the false narrative that individuals who are poor, homeless or involved in the criminal justice system deserve to be treated differently. For this vulnerable population, the compassion and humanity afforded by the Golden Rule simply does not apply. Therefore, our society often deems it acceptable to criticize, demean and vehemently judge individuals who we don’t truly know or understand.
CJM seeks to reverse this abhorrent societal norm. Our mission is to serve those impacted by the criminal justice system, not judge them. When a client calls our phone or rings our doorbell, they are greeted and treated with kindness, dignity and respect. As servant leaders in the St. Louis community, we do not base our neighbor’s worth on past actions. Instead, we systematically assess their current needs and provide services that will positively impact the individual as well as the community.
Over the past four decades, CJM has served over 500,000 individuals and families impacted by the criminal system in the St. Louis area. Through classes, speakers, group sessions, case management and more, CJM addresses the needs of those incarcerated as well as those trying to successfully reenter society. In fact, CJM has become one of the leaders in reentry services in the community, drastically lowering the recidivism rate of the formerly incarcerated from 66% nationally to 22% as a CJM program graduate.
CJM’s approach and results have earned us a stellar reputation for making the community a stronger and safer place for everyone. In order to continue to strengthen our community, CJM requires the support of everyone in the community. Whether you are a mother with an incarcerated son, a corporate executive living in the city, or a retired school teacher worried about community safety, we need your help to fulfill our mission. Please contact us about volunteering your time; donating some goods/money; or simply learning more about CJM and your potential involvement. Together, we will make sure the Golden Rule applies to everyone in St. Louis, resulting in a safer, stronger community.
To read more about CJM's mission and history, please click the PDF below: