[ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 24, 2018] – As part of the Circuit Attorney’s Office “Justice 2020 St. Louis Initiative” introduced last week, Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner will be opening a St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) office at the Circuit Attorney’s Office effective Monday, July 30th. SLATE is St. Louis government agency that offers job seekers and businesses a variety of no-cost services related to employment, job training, and career advancement.
“When I introduced the “Justice 2020 St. Louis Initiative,” I explained that we needed to disrupt the status quo and think about reducing violent crime in a completely new way,” said Gardner. “Bringing SLATE to the courthouse is an excellent example of the types of programs and services we will be offering. I believe that providing job skills, counseling and job placement services to people as part of our diversion efforts is an excellent way to give people purpose and inspire them to dream bigger about their potential.
SLATE will work with defendants referred through the Circuit Attorney’s Office (CAO) Misdemeanor Redirect Program, Felony Redirect Program, and Youthful Offender Program; defendants with child support cases; and defendants receiving felony summonses. “Transportation can be an obstacle for people trying to improve their lives,” said Gardner. “The benefit of having the SLATE office at the CAO is that it increases the compliance of our programs by having them all in one location.” Gardner is one of the first elected prosecutors in the country to launch a program like this.
"The office inside of the Circuit Attorney's Office allows SLATE to be more intentional and aggressive about delivering resources to our community,” said Alice M Prince, Ed.D., Executive Director, Workforce, Office of the Mayor. “We have to work together to save lives."
To begin, one SLATE employee will be at the courthouse between normal business hours, with more available to come over from the1520 Market location depending on demand on any given day. SLATE will hold open office hours on the first floor of the courthouse near the Warrant Office, with the ability to move to different locations in the building as needed, including the diversion dockets in Division 31 and the 4th floor CAO office.
Diversion program staff will refer diversion participants to SLATE as needed, to access GED programming, vocational training, job preparation, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities. Defendants receiving felony summons may be required to meet with SLATE to explore these opportunities as a condition of bond.
The CAO’s Child Support Unit already has an established relationship with SLATE to refer individuals with civil and criminal nonsupport cases to programming through SLATE to gain employment and increase child support payment compliance – these participants will also have access to the in-house SLATE employees. Finally, SLATE’s open office hours will mean access for those who aren’t participating in any of these programs: anyone in need of SLATE’s services will be able to walk in to meet with the agency.
“All defendants can still visit the main SLATE location, but through this new partnership we hope to see a higher rate of engagement via the warm handoff of a CAO employee directly to a SLATE employee in the same building,” Gardner said.
The SLATE coordinator in charge of the courthouse office will also direct the agency’s Prison to Prosperity program, which is designed to help young adults successfully reenter the community from the Medium Security Institution.
Prepared by the Circuit Attorney's Office.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment
Employment, Jobs, and Careers