The United States is a prison nation, 1 in 4 people incarcerated in the world reside in US prisons and jails. People who go to jail need to be treated like people both while they’re there and when they get out. To assist persons formerly detained, locate the services and housing necessary to develop alternatives to re-incarceration.
Our interviews with formerly incarcerated people indicate that people who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, or questioning are often not welcome at worship services or Bible study inside prisons, nor are people who question the teachings of the tradition or the worship leaders can offer a liberal religious home to people who are interested in spirituality more than religion, are reflecting on important questions and seeking truth and meaning, have a gender identity or sexual orientation other than heterosexual, or are survivors of domestic violence.
We are currently leading UU covenant groups in Cook County Jail, and working on getting them into two Illinois state prisons, one for men and one for women. If it is requested by jail inmates or prisoners, we will be able to offer monthly worship services in each institution.