WXOW-TV interviewed a La Crosse area resident in May 2018 to tell her story, and the story of the La Crosse Jail Ministry. Elizabeth was arrested in 2013 for driving under the influence and seriously injuring two people.
In the interview, Elizabeth readily acknowledges that she was indeed driving impaired. She also says that, despite having a history of receiving formal substance treatment, she was not ready at the time of her arrest to do the hard work needed to recover including Drug Court. After her entry into the penal system in La Crosse County she was transferred to a women’s state prison.
Elizabeth tells the story of how her life is now dramatically different. She now volunteers, doing jail visits, as part of the La Crosse Jail Ministry program. What changed her life? Elizabeth credits the turnaround to a process that started with a pre-incarceration conversation with La Crosse Jail Chaplain Tom Skemp. Elizabeth says it this way: “I was lost; I was lost and in despair, and he gave me hope. … What I needed was faith.”
The La Crosse Jail Ministry is a vital lifeline for people in our own community, who will return to the community upon their release. Click the links below to hear this young woman’s story, how Jail Ministry made a difference for her, and what Jail Ministry means to the entire La Crosse community.