Parents and Their Children



The Mission of PATCH is:  to provide children and their mothers, incarcerated at Chillicothe Correctional Center, with services necessary to maintain contact and strengthen family relationships during periods of separation due to incarceration.


PATCH Provides...

  • Required parent education classes to increase understanding and improve the parenting skills of offender mothers
  • Supervised visits in PATCH visiting rooms reserved for one mother and her children
  • Transportation for children who need rides to visit their mothers in prison
  • Ongoing support and encouragement to help mothers improve interactions with their children.

When caregivers cannot provide transportation, volunteer drivers are needed to transport children. Two adults are required for each trip.  Volunteer drivers from throughout the state of Missouri are needed to pick up children from their community, and possibly other communities along the route, to transport them to Chillicothe Correctional Center and return them following the visit.  The volunteers use their own vehicle or an organization's or church's vehicle to transport the children for the visit.


PATCH visits may be scheduled for any day Monday-Friday or Saturday and Sunday.  Visits are four hours in length and always include lunch and a photo with mom.  Children arrive 30 minutes before the visit begins.  The PATCH visit coordinator plans each visit with the caregiver and offender.  A typical visit is held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  An evening visit would be held from 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. These hours can vary to accommodate scheduling. To read more about PATCH go to their web site by clicking here.



St. Mark's and PATCH

In 2012, St. Mark's became involved with PATCH when a member of the church brought up the need for volunteer drivers from the St. Louis area for the PATCH program. Several members volunteered to drive and others donated money for gas and the connection between St. Mark's and PATCH was started. Jackie Bernsen is our PATCH Coordinator.


Volunteering to Drive

We currently have two teams of two who make the drive to Chillicothe so that children from the St. Louis area can visit with their Moms.


It is a long, but rewarding day. The children are picked up at 7a.m. for the four hour drive to Chillicothe. The children visit with their Moms from 11:30-3:30 p.m., and the volunteer drivers spend the time exploring the town of Chillicothe or can receive a free pass to the local YMCA to swim or check out their facilities. When the visit is done, the volunteers pick the children back up and drive the four hours back to St. Louis.


St. Mark's goal is to make 5-6 trips each year. Each trip would take between 2-6 children to visit their Moms. Please see Jackie Bernsen to volunteer or for more information. To participate in this program you will need to have a driver's check and a Federal background check which Jackie will help walk you through these procedures.



Another way to help this program is to give a monetary donation to help pay for gas and/or to rent a car to drive the children to Chillicothe. You may make a check out to the church and in the memo line write "PATCH Program" or give your donation to Debbie in the church office or to coordinator Jackie Bernsen.



PATCH - Keeping the connection.






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