We record imprisoned parents reading books to their children and send the recording and book to the child.

“When a mother goes to prison, usually it is her children who suffer most … maternal imprisonment affects future generations because children’s psychological health and sense of family is severely damaged by the separation from their mothers.”

Companions Journeying Together launched Aunt Mary’s Storybook Project (AMS) in 1993 as a simple holiday project at one institution. We have grown this ground breaking program to 17 correctional facilities, in addition to it being used as a model in over 20 states.

We work with dedicated volunteers through the support of our generous donors to better connect families. We visit these facilities and assist parents and grandparents in picking their favorite books to read. We record them and encourage them to include a personal message. Afterwards, the audio is shared with their child or grandchild – leaving them with hearing their loved one’s voice for a special connection that might not happen.

Aunt Mary’s Storybook constantly seeks to improve our operations. At the conclusion of each session, we invite incarcerated participants to complete a short participation survey. We use PaperSurvey to generate our surveys, process the responses, and review the results.

Aunt Mary’s Storybook currently works with the following institutions:
Cook County Jail – Chicago, Illinois
DeKalb County Jail – Sycamore, Illinois
Kane County Jail – St. Charles, Illinois
Kendall County Jail – Yorkville, Illinois
Will County Jail – Joliet, Illinois
Centralia Correctional Center – Centralia, Illinois
Decatur Correctional Center – Decatur, Illinois
Hill Correctional Center – Galesburg, Illinois
Illinois River Correctional Center – Canton, Illinois
Joliet Treatment Center – Joliet, Illinois
Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center – Kewanee, Illinois
Lawrence Correctional Center – Sumner, Illinois
Menard Correctional Center – Chester, Illinois
Menard Correctional Center Medium Security Unit – Chester, Illinois
Sheridan Correctional Center – Sheridan, Illinois
Vandalia Correctional Center – Vandalia, Illinois
Western Illinois Correctional Center – Mt. Sterling, Illinois

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Donate to Support This Project

Join our Aunt Mary’s Storybook Giving Circle. By signing up to donate $10 a month, you’ll be giving men and women the chance to share their voice and love with the special children in their lives. Click here to support this project.