Where We Serve
The State of Illinois is divided into six Catholic Dioceses and each contains a number of Federal, State Prisons, Work Camps and Juvenile facilities. The current population of prisoners in the Federal and State prisons is 48, 278 (12/31/2014) that has a capacity of 36,000. This population does not include those in jails and juvenile facilities.
The Diocese of Belleville covers the 28 counties in the southern part of Illinois. This includes the following incarceration sites:
- Federal Prison (1)
- State Prisons (8)
- Big Muddy, Centralia, Lawrence, Menard, Pinckneyville, Shawnee, Southwestern Illinois, Vienna
- County Jails (22)
- Work Camps (5)
The current prisoner population in the Federal and State prisons in this area is 18,285 which represent about 37.9% of the inmates in the State of Illinois. Approximately 15% of the 18, 285 inmates are Catholic. This represents about 2,750 inmates that we are called to serve that are scattered in about 36 incarceration facilities.
At the present time (July 2015) we celebrate the Eucharist about 57 times per month with an average attendance of about 25-30 inmates. This would represent about 1,400 – 1,700 inmates per month. We must remember that all those in attendance may not be Catholic, but do participate in the service.
Other Catholic services at the incarceration sites can include:
- Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion
- Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
- Scripture Study
- Sacramental Preparation
- Rosary & Stations of the Cross