Mass incarceration.


A topic not top of mind for many, but one morning with Orv Kimbrough, Bob Fox and Judge Jimmie Edwards, you start to connect the dots on its direct connection to social and economic issues in our community.


Missouri has the 8th highest imprisonment rate in the nation, and the United States surpasses every other country for incarceration rates in the world by an eerie landslide. What can we do?


We can learn from our fellow leaders in Texas who have redirected funds to increase mental health and substance abuse treatment, increase transitional programs/halfway houses, and set caseload limits for probation officers. As a result, they’ve closed eight prisons, saved multi-millions annually, and in 2015 had their overall lowest crime rate since 1968.


You can share with your co-workers and family why they should partner with United Way, and ultimately empower agencies like Wyman Center, College Bound and Mers Goodwill. These organizations are on the ground to ensure our vulnerable youth go to college instead of prison and help people reintegrate into our community.


Dive into a wealth of knowledge on the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and recommend or sponsor a presentation to your personal or professional groups. Contact Samantha at the Clark-Fox Family Foundation at to take this next step.


It is going to take an ecosystem approach. Our team of United Way partner agencies along with local and federal leaders are working together to reduce the vicious cycle of recidivism in our community.


We are in this together, but it’s how we individually choose to take the next step that will make all the difference.


View photos from the de Tocqueville First Thursday Breakfast event.


Suggested books and documentaries to read and watch:


“The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander


“13th” directed by Ava DuVernay


“For Ahkeem” directed by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest