New Prison Ministry Program In Winnebago County

- ROCKFORD - “You wake up every morning, and you know that there are things that you need, and it is you earn money, so you can have those things, or you’re desperate.” said Tommy Meeks of Winnebago County.

Desperate people can sometimes do desperate things, leading them into incarceration where their situation can get worse.

But, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois are hoping to change that through prison ministry programs.  “We hope that the prisoners and family ministries will find a home here permanently, so that we can continue the program.” said

Davis said the program has been successful across Illinois  “Once we have those graduates that are successful and they go into employment somewhere, and have a success story, then employers i believe will look at the program, and say you know what we need to give these people a second chance.” said Davis

Tommy Meeks served time before--and wishes he could have gotten involved with prison ministry earlier.  “You need some positive role models, in your life, because if you don’t, you are going to do the same thing that you have been doing.” said Meeks

Even with the help from Lutheran Social Services ex offenders usually have a difficult time finding a job. Davis said employers focus in on one question the most “Immediately they see that they have checked that box that they have been incarcerated, or that they do have a quote on quote record, and immediately instead of saying lets talk about this, how long ago was it, they just say no.”

With second chances hard to come by Hobbs wants people to understand that their help is needed. “Any child could be your child, so just because it is someone else’s child and not yours, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t help.”

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