Detention Visitation Ministry

Visiting those in Detention

The Bible is rich with scripture that calls for compassionate action. While many of us make time to support vulnerable individuals within our communities, our brothers and sisters in prison are often overlooked.

Worse, those in immigration detention are often far from family and friends, unable to speak or understand English fluently, and uninformed as to why they are in detention in the first place — or what will happen next.

Each day tens of thousands of men, women and children are detained in immigration detention facilities by the U.S. government. This means we have thousands of opportunities each day to provide hope, strength, and a voice to those who are detained.

Pastors, social service providers, Lutherans, and others have joined our visitation ministry, committing to regularly visit with or write to individuals isolated in immigration detention, and to provide friendship, compassion, and a listening ear.

Join a Visitation Ministry

In a country where you are a stranger, when your name is called and you are told that you have a visitor, you feel like you’re going from darkness to light.” -Former Detainee, Locked in a Box.

A kind listener can help restore dignity and hope to a person enduring the long days of uncertainty and isolation in immigration detention. LIRS partners with congregations, NGOs and community groups across the nation to accompany individuals currently detained through regular visits, staffing detention hotlines and written correspondence with detainees.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? We encourage you to directly contact one of our partners to learn about volunteer opportunities in your community.

Detention Visitation Programs Across the U.S.

Immigration Detention In the U.S.

40,520

immigration Detention Beds.

$3.076 Billion

detention Budget.

71%

people held in for-profit facilities.

323,591

people detained each year (2017).

205

facilities.

$134

cost per day for adult detention.

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