Our Vision

Support and advocacy for inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

 
 

PLEASE ENCOURAGE ANY INMATE WHO MAY NEED ASSISTANCE TO FILL OUT A YELLOW REFERRAL FORM ON THEIR POD AND CIRCLE JAIL MINISTRY ON THE FORM. WE RESPOND TO INMATE REQUESTS.

Jail Ministry - A Brief History

Jail Ministry is a grassroots, social justice, spiritually founded community that provides presence and advocacy to inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse, NY.  

Jail Ministry was founded in 1976 in the Syracuse Public Safety Building (jail) by a small team of volunteers and Chaplain Bill Cuddy with the support of 100 community members each pledging $15 per quarterly newsletter to support the work with 180 inmates.  The total budget was $6,000.

Today we serve an inmate population of 650 at the Onondaga County Justice Center with one full time staff member, four part-time staff members, 50 trained volunteers, and over 400 supporters operating on an annual budget of $140,000.   

Jail Ministry is a part of the Brady Faith Center, a neighborhood mission that is an outreach of the Syracuse Catholic Diocese, serving the south and west sides of Syracuse.

 

We serve inmates of all religions and provide a wide variety of services.  What makes our ministry so unique is the mutuality of our relationships with inmates.  We believe that through building relationships we can share life's journey together and through that each grow in our ability to love others. 

Those of us who spend time with the inmates benefit as much, if not more, through the relationships that we establish and share.  We recognize that the inmates have as much to share in their life experiences with us as we do with them.  It is this approach to participating in Jail Ministry that creates an appreciation and respect for the dignity of all human life.

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Keith Cieplicki
Jail Ministry Coordinator

 
Jail Ministry participants gathered together to prepare for the annual Christmas party in the Justice Center for the inmates.

Jail Ministry participants gathered together to prepare for the annual Christmas party in the Justice Center for the inmates.