Prisoners or Patients? is a group of volunteers who come together to discuss issues around when the criminal justice and mental health systems connect. The group is made up of members of The Basilica’s Mental Health Ministry, its Voices of Justice Ministry, and the larger Twin Cities community. The committee has worked in partnership with NAMI-MN, Minnesota DHS, Hennepin Healthcare, Minnesota State Legislators, Amicus, Minneapolis College, and other organizations. Begun in 2017, this task force has provided educational programming, advocacy efforts, and resource development for the parish and the community at large.
In late 2019, Prisoners or Patients was charged with developing a mentor program for those leaving prison with mental health concerns. The Prisoners or Patients Mentorship Program will link mentors of The Basilica of Saint Mary in partnership with re-entering citizens identified by either the Minnesota Department of Corrections or Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation. The trained mentors will accompany the participants re-entering the community, who are struggling with mental health challenges, and who have expressed a desire for a spiritual connection. These mentors will walk with the participants and help them access resources that will decrease their isolation and assist them as they re-engage and re-connect within the community. The pilot of this mentorship program is slated for fall of 2021.
Monthly meetings currently take place on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 1:00-2:30 pm. For more information, contact Janet Grove.