Prisoner and Family Ministry: An Overview
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) offers services for incarcerated persons at 25 Illinois prisons and jails, along with services for their families. Prisoner and Family Ministry also provides services for “returning citizens” -- men and women who were previously incarcerated and are reentering the community. These services include:
- Connections works with incarcerated mothers, women who are reentering the community, their children and the children’s caregivers in the Chicago area. The Connections program helps children stay connected to their incarcerated mothers by providing transportation for Chicago children and their caregivers to every prison that houses women in Illinois. Connections also links women to community resources, such as food pantries, job-training programs and substance abuse treatment services.
- Justice Education provides LSSI staff members who teach a class entitled “Restorative Justice and Ministry to Those Incarcerated and Their Families” at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.
- Reentry Services for Returning Citizens helps people returning home from prison or jail and works with them to create new lives in the community. The program seeks to provide assistance and resources to “returning citizens,” which includes finding food and shelter in the days following release, education and employment in the months and years that follow.
- The Storybook Project helps keep children connected with their incarcerated parents. With the help of volunteers, a parent selects a book and makes a recording of him- or herself reading that book to his or her child. The recording and book are then sent to the child. The parents are encouraged to give a personal and loving message to their children.
773/783-9516 (Chicago – Connections, Justice Education)
815/988-3465 (Rockford - Prisoner and Family Ministry/Rockford)
618/997-9076, (Marion – Reentry Services for Returning Citizens)
217/371-1633 (Springfield – Storybook Project)