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Leslie's Place in the news

CCTV America, April 22, 2014 - Prison Programs Trying to Help Inmates Back into Society

“I had no money when God gave me the vision to do this. And I just took the ladies for the first three years and nobody paid me anything. I just wanted to help them so they wouldn’t have to go back to prison”  And so she helps them: get state IDs and birth certificates, gives them clothes, toiletries, bus cards and computer training. She says while in prison she saw too many women come back.  Click to read full article with link to video


US Catholic, January 2014 - When Mom is in prison: Supporting incarcerated women and their children

“[My kids] never threw it up in my face about being away and what I did to their dad,” says [Leslie] Brown. “I witnessed many women not having that. I witnessed a lot of them just having nobody." Click to read full article

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 26, 2013 - Leslie’s Place gets help from defense bar group

[Leslie's Place] got a financial boost from lawyers this year when the Women’s Criminal Defense Bar Association raised $5,000 at its October fundraiser.

WCDBA past president Susana L. Ortiz said the bar group annually donates to groups that offer shelters and transitional housing facilities to ex-offenders. The bar association is comprised primarily of female attorneys in private criminal defense practice.  “Leslie has lived the life and walked the walk, so she knows exactly what these ladies are going through and the challenges they face upon release,” Ortiz said. Click to read full article

Examiner.com, May 3, 2012 - Former incarcerated mom steers vision to help other moms with a criminal past

Mother’s Day can be the loneliest time of year for an incarcerated mother which is why Leslie’s Place, a safe haven and rehabilitation home for former female inmates has become one of the most rewarding and successful transitional bedrocks for women who’ve been separated from their children.  Click to read full article

Chi-Town Daily News, April 23, 2009 - Leslie's Place aims to give women another chance


Leslie Brown knows how hard it is for women to restart their lives after a stint in prison.  “I recall standing in front of the warden and proclaiming, "You won’t be seeing me again,''” says Brown.  She kept true to her word, and has only been back to the prison to minister to other women there.  Click to read full article

Busted Halo, Jan. 3, 2007 - Leslie's Place:  A Chicago woman now helps former female inmates start over

Located on Chicago’s West Side, Leslie’s Place is a transitional house run by Leslie Brown for former female inmates. Since its founding more than 10 years ago Brown has helped more than 500 women make their way back into the world after prison. But living at Leslie’s Place isn’t easy. Residents must follow Brown’s strict rules or they are asked to leave. It is an approach that has been enormously successful due in no small part to the fact that it is run by someone who intimately understands prison life. Brown is a former inmate herself who was once given a 20-year sentence for soliciting the murder of her husband. Click to read full article

Crain's Chicago Business, June 7, 2004 - Chicago's 100 Most Influential Women

Leslie Brown walked out of Dwight Correctional Center in Downstate Dwight 16 years ago, but she never put prison behind her.  There are monthly bus trips to take children to see their incarcerated mothers. Self-esteem classes for female inmates. Prison ministry groups.  And on the West Side, there is Leslie's Place, Ms. Brown's former home, now a residence for female offenders who need a safe place to live after leaving prison. Click to read full article

The Chicago Reporter, Oct. 1, 2003 - Nowhere to Go

It was the start of a mission. In December 1994, Brown officially transformed her home at 1014 N. Hamlin Ave. on Chicago's West Side to Leslie's Place, a recovery home for women ex-offenders. In April 2002, Brown opened a second house nearby, at 3250 W. Walnut St. In all, she has invited almost 300 women--and their children--to spend their first several months out of prison at her place. While there, the women get free clothing, food and help finding employment and housing.  Click to read full article

Chicago Tribune, Dec. 23, 1988 - 2 Women Who Killed Spouses To Be Set Free

Thursday was a day for singing carols and exchanging gifts for women prisoners at the Dwight Correctional Center, but two inmates received the best Christmas gift of all—their freedom.  Gladys Gonzalez and Leslie Brown, two 35-year-old Chicago women convicted of arranging the murders of their abusive husbands, learned from their lawyers that Gov. James Thompson had commuted their sentences to time served.  Click to read full article