Prisoner Release Ministry, Inc. was started by a group of United Methodist men and women from the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church. They worked together to form a prison ministry program that would last beyond their lifetime. I doubt if any of them thought they would ever be on the Internet when they started meeting in 1969. Actually in the very beginning their thoughts centered around: What can we do that will make a difference in these people's lives? How can we help these people change their lives, so they can once again be a productive part of society?
They learned two basic things: (1.) that more than 95% of the people in prison would one day be released from prison and returned to society and (2.) that as many as 70% of these people would return to prison within thirty months if they did not get a job and work.
From these two ideas Prisoner Release Ministry, Inc. was born.
These United Methodist people worked to get a grant and were successful. They interviewed people and then hired three people as the first full-time staff; next they opened an office in Joliet, Illinois, at the request of the Illinois Department of Corrections; and for the first time, on June 1, 1976 they started working full-time to help these men and women getting out of prison to find jobs.
Since 1976 Prisoner Release Ministry, Inc. has found more than 15,000 jobs for these men and women! These clients have earned more than $60,000,000 dollars. And we estimate that more than 65% of these people are still out and doing well!