By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (May 22, 2022) – Around 400 people gathered in the Serbian Social Center in Lansing on Tuesday to celebrate and support Chicagoland Prison Outreach, a Christian organization devoted to ministering to currently and previously incarcerated individuals and their families.
The organization’s annual banquet had taken two years off due to COVID, resorting to virtual means to bring updates and testimonies to its community. Treated to a plated meal and a presentation, Tuesday’s attendees were glad to gather in person again.
After dinner, CPO Executive Director Corey Buchanan gave updates on the organization’s programming and new staff, and led multiple interviews to highlight CPO’s offerings. He interviewed formerly incarcerated Christians who were impacted by CPO, and he interviewed others involved in programming for the organization.
Chicagoland Prison Outreach’s ministry has multiple facets. First, it seeks to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister in small group setting to individuals incarcerated in Cook County. CPO’s website says, “By exposing imprisoned men and women to the love of Jesus while they’re within prison walls, we help them begin changes that can continue throughout their lives, as they begin to make positive impacts in their homes, families, workplaces and the world at large.”
The organization also supports families of incarcerated people through food donations, gifts at Christmastime, and other means.
CPO also offers support and educational opportunities for those who have been released from jail or prison. Tuesday’s banquet told some success stories of these professional programs.
CPO said at the banquet that donations given at the event historically make about approximately 22% of their annual budget. For more information about Chicagoland Prison Outreach, or to donate to the cause, visit www.cpoministries.org.