Diocese of Joliet

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Jail and Prison Ministry

There are a wide variety of ministries available to clergy, religious, and lay volunteers that come under the banners of pastoral care and social justice/advocacy in jail and prison ministry. You will find that we provide pastoral services to more than just those who are incarcerated in our prisons and jails.  We serve their families as well. We also reach out to the victims of crime and violence, promote restorative justice and advocate for a more just and humane response to crime in our communities.

Pastoral Care can be practiced:

Inside the prison or Detention Center

  • Sacramental, catechetical
  • Programs, RCIA teaching, Bible studies
  • Pastoral care of correctional staff
  • Visit offenders and offer spiritual counsel
  • Communion services, praying of the rosary, and other Catholic devotions

Outside the prison or detention center

  • Providing religious materials
  • Re-entry programs
  • Support for victims of crime
  • Support for families of incarcerated

In various support service roles

  • Correspondence/Updated resource information
  • Supplies/donations
  • Intercessory prayer

Social Justice/advocacy

  • Sentencing Reform
  • Prison privatization
  • Immigrant detention
  • Mental health and addictions policies
  • Parish/diocese awareness
  • Public relations
  • Networking/alliance building
  • Letter writing and telephone calls to designated authorities

The inside prison/detention ministry require various kinds of security application processing. Filling out the forms, taking pictures for identification, doing background checks, attending training classes, and working with someone who has experience. This all takes quite a bit of time to accomplish so please be patient.

We invite you to explore our compilation of Jail and Prison Ministry Resources for information that will assist you in resolving issues and answering important questions related to prisoners, the formerly incarcerated in re-entry, families of prisoners, and victims of crime. A listing of these resources, organized by topic, can be found in the column to the left under Initiatives: Jail & Prison Ministry.

Contact Us:

Michael Berry - Jail and Prison Ministry Coordinator

m-berry@outlook.com or (815) 221-6255