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Prison Performing Arts Announces Upcoming Performances

The men of the Northeast Correctional Center (Bowling Green, MO) will present The Government Inspector by Gogol on Thursday, June 30 at 6 p.m. RSVP is required by June 17.

In addition, the Vandalia Women's Theatre will present two performances of William Shakespeare's The Tempest Acts 1 & 2 and Spoken Words on Monday, July 25 at 1:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. To RSVP, please call the PPA office at (314) 289-4190 or email info

Find out more by visiting Prison Performing Arts' website.

ARCHS Helping Make Changes Through a Pen & Pad

Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) inmates enrolled in ARCHS' Second Chance Act Mentoring Program write out their thoughts and goals during a recent journaling class.The pen of Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) inmate Demetrius Williams scribbled back and forth across his notepad during a self-reflection exercise. Deep thought kept Williams' eyes focused on the paper in front of him as words became sentences, sentences became paragraphs, and paragraphs became a deeper meaning to why he was in prison.

Williams is one of dozens of men enrolled in ARCHS' Second Chance Act Mentoring Program, which assists individuals toward a positive life change through activities such as the writing process. Journaling allows individuals to share and receive feedback on their thoughts with peers. It also allows individuals to take a look at past feelings and criminal behavior, and explore different ways to change their perceptions and attitudes

It also allows individuals to take a look at their past feelings and criminal behavior, and explore different ways to change their way of thinking to live in a positive way.

"This has to be the best class offered here (MECC) because you feel like you are taking something away with you, and also that the people really care," Williams said, whose been in prison four years for robbery. "It makes a big difference."

Read more: ARCHS Helping Make Changes Through a Pen & Pad

STAR Members Siedhoff and McCarthy Honored at National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry

Congratulations to STAR's own William Siedhoff (St. Louis Director of Human Services) and Nancy Mitchell McCarthy (Regional Administrator of Missouri Probation and Parole) for being honored at the annual meeting of the National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry. Both were given awards at the organization's banquet on May 17 at the Pear Tree Inn by Drury.

Siedhoff, who also served as a keynote speaker, received the Mike McGough Award. Previous award recipients of the award include Sen. Ted Kennedy and former Governor of New Mexico Toney Anaya. McCarthy was awarded with the Special Award for Collaboration in Prisoner Reentry into the St. Louis Community.

The convocation was held May 15-18 and focused on issues that affect people before, during, and after incarceration. Over 50 area professionals involved in the reentry process discussed topics such as mental health, sex offenders, veterans, and youthful offenders. The event was hosted through the leadership of the Criminal Justice Ministry of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

30th National Convocation of Jail & Prison Ministry

Presence on the Edges

May 15-18, 2011 
Saint Louis, Missouri
Pear Tree Inn by Drury Inn (St. Louis Union Station)

Join colleagues in jail and prison ministry to address issues affecting persons before, during, and after incarceration with a focus on:
  • mental health
  • sex offenders
  • veterans
  • youthful offenders
  • Learn more about options within criminal justice programs and evidence-based, cost-saving alternatives to criminal sentencing. 

Gregory "Father G" Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention center in the US, and author of Tattoos on the Heart: the Power of Boundless Compassion. Book siging available.

Event is hosted in St. Louis through the leadership of the Criminal Justice Ministry of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

$295 Includes all sessions, most meals and shared double room at the Pear Tree Inn.
Register online at with a credit or debit card or print and mail registration form with check.

For more information, call, 314.775.8811

"Community Response To Heroin" Meeting Brings Collective Minds Together on April 14

A "Community Response to Heroin" meeting was held April 14 in response to discussions that began at the 2011 STAR Summit. The community meeting addressed the current reality concerning the alarming rise in the use of heroin throughout the St. Louis region and its impact on the community and reentry efforts.

An Offender Reentry and Substance Abuse White Paper has also been released by STAR. STAR's first white paper examines the issue of offender reentry and substance abuse and was co-authored by Chris Deason, Center for Women in Transition; Cynthia Hygrade, Missouri Board of Probation & Parole; Madeline Adams, St. Louis Healthy Marriage Coalition; and Karen Jones, Missouri Dept. of Social Services, Missouri Children's Division with support from additional members of STAR's "Research and Filed Building" subcommittee.

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