Inside the Monroe County Correctional Center, the staff and volunteers of New Leaf – New Life works with jail officials to run a variety of programs to better the lives of inmates. We provide just a sampling of those programs here.

​Inside-Out Classes

With the support of jail administration and staff, the IU Communications and Culture Department has offered classes that meet in the jail, whose students are a combination of IU students and inmates.  Participants acquire academic skills and gain life-changing experiences.

Enrichment Programs

​Enrichment Programs are available to inmates in certain jail blocks, including volunteer-run classes and groups focusing on creative writing, problem solving, addiction recovery, and women’s issues. NLNL staff teach GED preparation classes, as well.

​Transition Program

​The transition program focuses on helping inmates prepare for a successful transition back into community and family life by helping participants obtain birth certificates and social security cards, apply to assistance programs, and navigate other social services available in Bloomington.


One of NLNL's most popular programs, in partnership with St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Jail Bingo provides not only an hour of entertainment in the cell blocks, but also highly desirable prizes like soap and peanut butter.  Watch a video about Bingo!

Think Tanks

​The Monroe County Jail Speech and Advocacy Think Tank and the Monroe County Jail Women's Think Tank are two community advocacy groups that meet together regularly to learn about and build alternative models for justice.  Think Tank members often continue on to the Re-Entry Collective (see the Outside page)

​Read to Me

​The Read to Me program records men and women in the jail reading children's books. Once recorded by volunteers, the children of those incarcerated are sent a copy of the book and a recording of their parent reading aloud the book.

Song Writing Workshop

Similar to "Women Writing for a Change", this workshop has women in the jail write lyrics which local musicians put to music.

​Addicts In Recovery (AIR)

Currently on hold, the AIR program has provided a place for selected inmates to participate in intensive addiction recovery programs (addiction treatment, anger management, community building, meditation, parenting, etc.), in both inmate-led, volunteer-led, and staff-led sessions.
All together, we interact with approximately three-fourths of the inmates in the jail!  For more information, Contact Us or fill out a Volunteer Form.  We periodically offer orientations for in-jail volunteering: see the News & Events page for announcements of these offerings.