Resources

Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries, Inc.

This ministry works with those inside prisons by bringing the chance to engage in a DISCIPLE study. The study is led in conjunction with a local congregation.

Circles & Ciphers

A ministry coordinated through United Church of Rogers Park, this works with juvenile youth and ex-gang members to engage them in community transformation.

Prisoner Release Ministries, Inc.

This ministry works out of Joliet and Aurora to provide job-training skills for ex-offenders. I have found that my conversations with the Executive Director, Roger Logue, have been ones of passion and many stories of how they have helped. Website: www.prisonerreleaseministry.com. Contact person: Roger Logue 

Grace Calvary UMC in Chicago

This church takes youth on probation and teaches and provides training and job skills for them. Contact: Rev. Rodney Walker

KAIROS Outside Prison Ministry at St. Mark UMC in Chicago

This organization has worked with those in prisons and families outside of prisons. You can contact Rev. Barbara Morgan with specific questions regarding the ministry to families of those incarcerated. Also, Pastor Will Andrews has been involved with prison ministries (inside) and may have further insight.
Rev. Barbara Morgan:
Will Andrews

Advocacy
A good contact is Brittany Isaac with Urban Village Church

Areas that they have worked on have included working with Community Renewal Society (www.communityrenewalsociety.org) to reduce the time for a pre-trial hearing. Currently, someone can be held in Cook County jail nearly a month without a pre-trial hearing to determine that there is enough evidence to move forward in a case. In 70% of cases, there is not enough evidence to move forward. The move is to reduce that time to no more than 10 days. Being held that long means the loss of jobs, homes, and life goals.

A second area that many in Chicago are working on, in conjunction with a number of community organizing groups, is being a part of the ReClaim Campaign.

http://www.communityrenewalsociety.org/newsroom/crs-churches-take-action-spirit-dr-king; http://justpeacecafe.com/2013/11/19/join-the-reclaim-campaign/

Board of Church and Society
The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society has launched “Healing Communities.” It’s a great resource and a good way to begin. You can read up on it and follow the links here: http://umc-gbcs.org/faith-in-action/living-in-the-gap and http://www.healingcommunitiesusa.com. They are promoting “Restorative Justice Hubs” throughout the country. We do hope to organize some of those in the NIC in the near future.

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