Justice - Understanding - Service - Teaching

JUST is a nonprofit organization working to meet the needs of inmates in the DuPage County Jail and their families. Our mission is to share God's love and provide a range of programs to incarcerated men and women in order to empower them to make positive changes in their lives. For more than 25 years, JUST has served inmates by providing programs such as addiction recovery, life-skills training, and clergy services.

Our History

1985 - Bishop Joseph Imesch of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet commissions an examination of DuPage County Jail inmate needs. Life-skills classes for women, remedial education classes for men, and social services for men and women begin.

1986 - The need for full-time service in DuPage County Jail is realized, and an ecumenical non-profit corporation is formed. JUST of DuPage begins with Sister Juanita Ujcik as Executive Director. DuPage County Jail provides office space, furnishings, supplies, utilities, telephones, and duplication services. JUST of DuPage is incorporated.

1987 - Evening education programs begin with literacy volunteers. Jail chaplaincy comes under umbrella of JUST of DuPage. JUST of DuPage becomes a registered 501(c)(3).

1989 - Sue Breneman becomes Executive Director of JUST.

1991 - GED, Substance Abuse, and Health Awareness programs come under the umbrella of JUST of DuPage.

1996 - Judith Grote becomes Executive Director of JUST.

1998 - The first computer lab is established with donated computers.

2000 - Companions Journeying Together, Inc. begins bringing Aunt Mary’s Storybook Project into DuPage County Jail through JUST, allowing inmates’ children to receive a book and a recording of their parent reading to them. A computer lab for female inmates is established and Book Club is formed for female inmates.

2002 - Rev. Ray Anderson becomes Executive Director of JUST.

2003 - JUST begins offering Bible Study, Anger Management, Job Readiness, and Basic Computer to Spanish-speaking inmates.

2007 - In partnership with College of DuPage, JUST begins offering English as a Second Language (ESL) to male inmates.

2009 - Following Rev. Anderson’s retirement, Annie Rose becomes Executive Director of JUST. Computers in both male and female computer labs are replaced with newer donated machines.

2010 - In partnership with Literacy DuPage, JUST begins offering literacy tutoring to inmates. Following Annie Rose's transition to motherhood, Susan Neustrom becomes executive director. Our First Board Policy Manual is written.

2011 - First men’s Recovery Pod is instituted, approved by jail, and overseen by JUST staff member. Our first strategic plan is initiated and standing board committees are established. A jail staff survey was conducted and meetings with felony court judges were held to gain insight on JUST of DuPage's process and programs. Outside office rented in 213 S. Wheaton Ave. for meetings/training. We celebrated our 25th anniversary banquet held at First Presbyterian Church, Glen Ellyn and the Endowment Fund was established and $25,000 funding was reached in 1 year.

2012 - JUST website and social media presence is established. Director Emeritus/Emerita position created for Ruth Bamford. Oor first outreach effort to inmates’ families begins with JUST volunteers in visitation lobby. JUST staff and volunteers participate in Probation Dept’s COACH pilot program to help adults on probation with reentry

2013 -Sue Neustrom leaves JUST to pursue her dream of writing a book.

2014 - Deachtra (Dee) Nurse began her tenure as Executive Director. First women’s Recovery Pod is opened. JUST had its first 5K fundraising race, in coordination with Edward Hospital and West Suburban Fellowship Club.

2015 - Chip DeBlois replaces Dee Nurse as Executive Director.

2017 - Our 30 Yr. Anniversary was celebrated with more than 200 supporters on April 22, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church.

2018 - Chip DeBlois retires and is replaced by Michael Beary. Michael comes to JUST from the Diocese of Joliet where he served as Coordinator of Jail and Prison Ministry.

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    Contact Info

    Phone: 630.407.2201
    Fax: 630.407.2403
    E-mail: info@JUSTofDuPage.org

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