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Information for Prisoners in Illinois

Housing | Advocacy Information | Lawyers | Employment & Education | Support | Programs for Women & Girls

The resources listed here cover a wide variety of subjects categorized per the above. If you are looking for help, take your time to scroll through these materials. We believe that, in most instances, you will find some help. You can also contact us with a special request or inquiry at any time. The Illinois Institute does not guarantee the services or reliability of these resources, we can only list what is out there.

We welcome the addition of your information and resources to our website, including a link to your site. Add a resource to our Web site.

If you have first-hand experience with the resources on our website, you can help us determine their value and suitability by answering some questions. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential. Evaluate a resource.


Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Information on affordable housing, living wage jobs, health care, alternatives for women in the sex trade, and ensuring legal rights.

1325 South Wabash Avenue Chicago, IL 60605-2507
Phone: (312) 435-4548

Mercy Housing

Affordable housing rentals for families, seniors, people with special needs or developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS and formerly homeless individuals. Housing provided in various states across the country.

Mercy Housing - Lakefront
120 S. LaSalle, Suite 1850
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 447 4500

A Safe Haven

A recovery home for those dealing with substance abuse (drugs/alcohol). Provides detoxification, treatment and mental health services. 12 Step programs, child care, medical support, technical job training, core life skills provided to increase a client's ability to stay sober and productive. Sober and transitional residences evolve into affordable housing opportunities for clients as long as sobriety is sustained. Job and business ownership training in the salon and spa industry at A Nail Haven.

A Safe Haven
2750 West Roosevelt Road
Chicago, Illinois, 60608
Phone: 312-372-3820

Ritas Ministries

Provide encouragement and support for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. Support groups, housing assistance, job training, anger management, substance abuse programs.

Ritas Ministries
150 S. Lincolnway
Suite # 104
North Aurora, IL 60542
Phone: (630) 966-0252

F.A.I.T.H. Inc.

Assist formerly incarcerated individuals obtaining forms, ID’s, and other needs and services for reentry. Help obtaining, state ID, driver’s license, counseling and other services. Networks with other agencies to locate housing, education, advocacy, legal assistance, health and other treatments.

F.A.I.T.H. Inc.
5840 W. Chicago Ave 2nd Fl.
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: (773) 626-2429
M-F 9:30AM-4PM

Life Skills Centers

Transitional services offered for the formerly incarcerated in Illinois. Including shelter, employment assistance, health care, counseling, and transportation.

Roosevelt University Offices - Cook County

3506 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-342-4729

100 Northwestern Ave.
Chicago, IL
Phone: 312-633-1670

St. Clair County

1210 State St.
East St. Louis, IL
Phone: (618) 874-3650

Southern Illinois

3213 S. Park Ave
Energy, IL
Phone: (618) 942- 4710

Cairo, IL
Phone: (618) 734-9353

757 Pershing
Decatur, IL
Phone: (217) 875- 8750

406 Elm
Phone: (309) 655- 1614

202 W. Hill
Phone: (217) 366-3226

Advocacy Information

Shriver Center: Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Provides support for low-income people and communities in achieving social and economic justice.

50 East Washington Street, Suite 500, Chicago, Illinois, 60602
Phone: (312) 263-3830
Fax: (312) 263-3846

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

AFC provides resources and information surrounding AIDS and HIV. This includes events, news and advocacy issues.

AIDS Foundation of Chicago
200 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 922-2322

Justice Policy Institute

Promotes effective solutions to social problems and dedicated to ending socity’s reliance on incarceration.

1012 14th Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 558-7974
Fax: (202) 558-7978

Stop the Crime

Retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation.

c /o PDAG
P.O. Box 40683
Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

John Howard Association of Illinois

Provides critical citizen oversight of the state’s adult and juvenile correctional facilities.

375 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 529
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 503-6304

CeaseFire: The Campaign to STOP the Shooting

Evidence-based public health approach to reducing shootings and killings.

1603 W. Taylor St., MC 923
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 996-8775
Fax: (312) 355-0207

The Family Defense Center

Advocate for families in the child welfare system.

725 S. Wells St., Suite 702
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: (312)356-3202
Fax: (312)356-3203

Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities

Advocate for people in courts, jails, prisons and child welfare systems who need treatment for alcohol/drug and mental health problems.

1500 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60642
Phone: (312) 787-0208 or (312) 787-9663
Fax: (312) 573-8261

Equip for Equality

Organization that provides self-advocacy assistance, legal services, and disability rights education.

20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 341-0022
Toll Free: (800) 537-2632
TTY: (800) 610-2779
Fax: (312) 341-0295

Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.

Effictive and cost-efficient alternatives to the incarcerated or other instituational placement of young people.

8741 South Greenwood, Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60619
Fax: (773) 374-6110


Support for low-to-moderate income communities to build power and solve problems through the use of research, organizing, mobilization, and education.

1542 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620
Phone: (773) 651-6470
Fax: (773)651-5491

The Correctional Association of New York

Working to create a more just and balanced approach to incarceration that will benefit inmates, their families and communities, and will enhance public safety and the quality of life for all.

2090 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Suite 200 

New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 254-5700
Fax: (212) 473-2807


The lawyers and organizations listed here have shown an interest in helping persons in prison and released from prison. They do all kinds of work in this area: from challenging a conviction to improving conditions in a prison cell to procuring medical help. Some charge a fee, some will undertake legal representation without charge. Many will be too busy to help. You must make contact, prepare your request carefully, and see what happens. Be persistent!

Wildman, Harrols, Allen & Dixon LLP
David R. Askew
Director of Pro Bono & Community Service
225 W. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 201- 2000

Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder
1730 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (312) 981- 1414

Attorneys, legal experts and aides offer pro bono services to prisoners and their families.

You can learn what services and what providers are available, and even hear many of the individuals interviewed, on the websites sponsored by the Illinois Legal Aid. Start with, or go directly to any of the four specific sites that deal with various provider groups:

Contact information is included on the websites.

Employment & Education

Bard Prison Initiative

College within prison programs.

Bard College
PO Box 5000
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
Phone: (845) 758-7308

Chicago Jobs Council

Assists in finding formerly incarcerated individuals employment options, city-funded services, social services and welfare, and career consultation.

29 E. Madison St.
Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312)252-0460

Chicago Urban League

Provides adult and school-based educational programs and scholarships for programs including career development, financial literacy, leadership development and training, college application assistance, and service learning.

4510 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago , IL 60653
Phone: (773) 285-5800

Englewood Office
845 W. 69th Street
Chicago, IL 60621
Phone: (773) 602-3000


Computer repair and maintenance training.

Ra Chaka (Project Organizer)
Logan Square CTC
3411 W. Diversey, Suite 7
Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: (773)348- 8827

Small Business Opportunity Center

Assistance in creating a new small business. Affiliated through the Northwestern University School of Law and includes help from top attorneys and law students. Provides affordable legal services to entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations.

375 East Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312)503-3420

Michael Barlow Center - St. Leonard’s Ministries Program

Education, job training, and job placement for formerly incarcerated men and women. Orientations held every Monday at 3:00pm.

Jim Zangs - Director

2120 West Warren Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312)226-6270

American Correctional Association

Job assistance.

206 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 224-0000
Fax: (703) 224-0179

Apparel Industry Board, Inc.

Assists members in developing professional skills, identifying opportunities and obtaining new business.

350 North Orleans, Suite 690
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 836-1041
Fax: (312) 923-9076


The Association of Halfway House Alcoholism Programs of North America, INC.

Twelve step community based residential services. (e.g. halfway houses, sober living residences, extended care programs, recovery houses and transitional living facilities)

401 E. Sangamon Avenue
Springfield, IL 62702
Phone: (217) 523-0527
Fax: (217) 698-8234

Save Our Seed, Inc.

Serving inner city youth who believe that crime and drugs is the only choice with educational resources, creation of job shadowing opportunities, entrepreneurial growth, internships, etc.

220 E. 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: (773)536-2100 or (773) 536-3062
Fax: (773)536-2101


Bus service to correctional facilities on the first and last Saturdays of each month.

24 Hour Voicemail: (708)450-8252

Illinois Prison Talk

A family support forum and information center for those interacting with the Illinois Department of Corrections. IPT members are comprised of family/friends of inmates, prison reform activists, ex-offenders, prisoner rights advocates and others interested in the well being of Illinois prisoners.


Community Renewal Society

Committed to the transformation of individuals, organizations and public and private institutions. As well as providing investigative reports on issues of education, government, housing, criminal and social justice and economic conditions through its independent, and award-winning publications.

332 S. Michigan Ave. 500 • Chicago, Illinois 60604
Tel: (312) 427-4830
Fax: (312) 427-6130

Men & Women in Prison Ministries Universal House of Refuge Center

Information about housing, case management, medical care, substance abuse treatment, counseling, and supportive services in Illinois.

10 W. 35th. Street # 9C5-2 Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: (312) 328-9610
Fax : (312) 328-9611

Striving for Justice Ministries

Faith-based, not for profit, community based agency serving youth seniors, families of underprivileged communities. Includes educational, employment, spiritual, economic, emotional, mental and physical prosperity.

258 E. 115th Street
Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: (773) 928-0524
Fax: (773) 928-0528

Protestants for the Common Good

Educational programs and advocacy opportunities to people of faith on matters of public policy and community life

77 W. Washington St., Suite 1124
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 223-9544
Fax: (312) 223-9540

Programs for Women

Project Butterfly

Supporting young women through times of transformation. Programs and training for teen and pre-teen girls of African descent to foster self-awareness, financial literacy, self-esteem, create a positive self-image, build character, and develop leadership skills.

3543 S. Indiana Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

Women of Power Alumni Association and Support Group- Cook County Sheriff’s Department of Women’s Justice Services

Provides multiple peer support groups and mentor (Big/Little Sister) programs for women reentering society. Also provides countless resources, including multiple substance abuse recovery programs, housing referrals, GED/educational programs, legal assistance, child care, physical and mental health resources, and more.

3026 S. California Ave (2nd floor South)
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: (773)869-7877

Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers

Provides legal services and education programs for incarcerated mothers and their children to support the family system.

70 East Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60601-5950
Phone: (312) 675-0911

Sisters In Sobriety Transformed, Anointed, and Healed (SISTAH)

Recovery management for women of all races, religions, or ethnicity.

429 W. Ohio Street
Suite 139
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (773)762-9000

Brighter Behavior Choices, Inc.

Transitional housing for formerly incarcerated women who face homelessness and unemployment.

Northlight Architects
3154 West Diversey Avenue
1st Floor Storefront
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Phone: (773) 539-8100