Jail Brakers program takes over support group for incarcerated families under new management – ​​Shaw Local

Jail Brakers, a McHenry County-based program that provides support and services to families of incarcerated individuals, will resume operations following the COVID-19 pandemic under new management.

Cheryl Niemo, who founded the program in 2011, will retire as director with James Carpenter, a certified recovery support specialist who has worked in the field of behavioral health for more than a decade, taking the reins at her place, according to a press release. .

The organization, which was initially a nonprofit and later became an independent ministry of Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry, seeks to address the stigma of incarceration and provide meaningful resources to families. and those affected by incarceration.

The pandemic has interrupted many Jail Brakers programs, especially its monthly support group sessions at Woodstock.

The monthly family support group, which meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Woodstock’s Unity Spiritual Center, 225 W. Calhoun St., resumed the first week of June.

The group also provides families with gas cards to help them visit their incarcerated relatives; referrals and assistance in navigating the justice system; and support from social services and small donations for emergency needs, jail and prison telephone charges and commissioner’s accounts.

Jail Brakers will resume fundraising, such as an annual turkey raffle event in the fall and participation in the McHenry County Human Race.

Virginia S. Braud