Welcome Pastors and Family members, the information on this page are resources to help you take the next steps to navigate through the criminal justice system, and walk with your justice-involved loved one.

Correctional Ministry Briefs


Please feel free to use any of the templates below for your ministry needs
The Criminal Justice System and Going to Court

For most people, learning to navigate the criminal justice system is new. The following terms, definitions, and processes provide a basic understanding of what you may encounter as you journey with a person who is accused of committing a crime and brought to court.

Clergy Visit Template

This is a template for a clergy visit at the Dupage County Jail. This template, however, can be used for your own county jail.

Adult Jail Visitation for Families

Terms, definitions, do’s and don’ts of adult jail visitation, and how to post bond for families.

Ministry With Families of the Incarcerated

Families with a loved one behind bars are deeply impacted by their loved one’s incarceration. They need support. Find some resources and tips on how to give and receive help.





Arrested: Making Decisions for Yourself and Your Incarcerated Loved One

By Lennie Spitale


Sentenced: Maintaining Relationships During Incarceration

By Lennie Spitale


Released: Preparing for Your Loved One's Return Home

By Lennie Spitale and Karen Swanson


When Your Child is Arrested: A Parent's Guide to the Juvenile Justice System

By John Kinsley and Scott Larson



Recommendations for corresponding with the incarcerated

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3


Do you have questions?

We have assembled some answers to our most commonly asked questions.



Jail Ministry Opportunities

A Mission Field In Our Backyard

Guide for Starting a Jail Ministry

Jail Ministry Talking Points Presentation

Jail Ministry Power Points Presentation



Juvenile Justice Ministry

Starting Effective Ministry

Juvenile Justice Infographic

Juvenile Justice Organizations

Pastor Views On Prison Ministry: A Survey of Protestant Pastors

The Pastor Views on Prison Ministry was conducted by LifeWay Research. Its objectives were to quantitatively measure current church involvement in correctional ministry and to measure Protestant pastors’ experience and attitude toward engaging in ministry among those affected by incarceration.



The U.S. is known as the land of the free, yet more people are locked up than any other country in the world. Representing less than 5% of the world’s population, we now hold almost 25% of the world’s total prison population.

Mass incarceration is a human rights and justice issue impacting over 2.3 million adults and youth, along with their families and victims.

While mass incarceration impacts individuals and communities, the impact is felt more deeply by those who are people of color and the poor. Mass incarceration is an issue that has been largely ignored by the Church. Now is the time for the Church to speak up about the injustices ad respond with justice, mercy, and compassion.

Check out the videos from the GC2 Summit on Mass Incarceration.

About Correctional Ministries Institute


CMI Award

The Correctional Ministries Institute, Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, annually presents this award to individuals in recognition of years of faithful service to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the incarcerated.


The Correctional Ministries Institute is a training and resource center for those who share the gospel within the correctional community. 

CMI Leadership

Leaders pursue the goals of CMI through networks, collaboration, and strategic partnerships that provide leadership and training to those engaged in correctional ministries for the advancement of the gospel.

Charles W. Colson Scholarship

The Charles W. Colson Scholarship provides former prisoners with a college education and life formation program that develops them as Christian leaders.