Through Connections, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) provides programs for incarcerated mothers and their families. These services help keep incarcerated women connected to their children and families, as well as to assist recently released women who are returning to their home in the Chicago area.
- Visits to Mom provides 750 visits annually for Chicago children to keep in touch with mothers who are incarcerated. Free bus transportation is available to Decatur, Dwight, Greenville and Lincoln Correctional Centers. Volunteer drivers also provide transportation from the Chicago area to Dwight Correctional Center.
- Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) is a support group for caregivers who accompany children visiting parents at the correctional centers. While children visit their parents, caregivers meet for support. There are additional support groups in Chicago, as well as follow-up services.
- Family Reunification begins when both the incarcerated mother and the family commit to creating a plan for life on the “outside.” Through individual meetings and a Family Group Conference prior to release, the family develops a contract for the future. Connections staff support the family through this process and work with them for a year after mom comes home.
- Reentry Services are provided to women who have left prison and are newly returning to the Chicago area. Connections provides individual support, anger management and counseling sessions for women returning home. The Connections program links formerly incarcerated women to community resources, such as food pantries, job-training programs and substance abuse treatment services.