Human Dignity and Solidarity

About Us

The Saving Grace of Jail Inmates Since 1983

Compelled by the Gospel mandate, “I was in prison and you visited me,” Kolbe House at Assumption BVM — a parish based jail ministry — is a sanctuary for those impacted by incarceration. As a community steeped in hospitality, we seek hope and reconciliation through outreach, support and accompaniment. Through our ministry, the merciful love of the Father is shared…

… with the incarcerated, whom we serve as God’s beloved daughters and sons.
… with their families, to strengthen them as they too “do time” with their loved ones.
….with those called to the difficult, dangerous, crucial vocation of working in corrections.
… with the larger culture, inviting all to see in the incarcerated our own brothers and sisters.

Kolbe House is the agency of the Department of Parish Vitality and Mission of the Archdiocese of Chicago that deals directly with those involved in the criminal justice system. We provide one-on-one visits, counseling and religious services inside jails. We stand with ex-offenders — individuals reentering society after incarceration —  and family members, providing them with emergency support and referrals to social services.

Kolbe House recognizes that the incarcerated are often victims themselves and that the system is larger than any of the individuals in it. On any given day, an estimated 8,000 adults are locked up in Cook County Jail, another 600 adults in Lake County Jail, and approximately 275 juveniles at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. 

Kolbe House works for change through educating the public about the reality of the criminal justice system and about those caught in it. We want the voting public to be as informed as possible about the complexities of justice questions. Kolbe House chaplains offer talks to interested groups, and we create and publish Making Choices, a journal that we mail to those in prison and to those released from prison.