Dee Dee Osobor, the Founder and Chief Executive Director of Sisters In Sobriety, Transformed Anointed & Healed, has been involved in doing prison ministry for the last 25 years, and one day received a revelation.
While participating in a service at a male’s facility back in 2006 all of a sudden in the middle of the service she started feeling very anxious, but wasn’t sure what was causing these feelings of emotions and more importantly why? She later realized that she was grieving for women “behind the wall” (in jail or prison). The reason why was because it seemed that men received various supportive services, and women needs were being minimized? So, after days of probing that very thought she was moved with compassion and shifted her focus toward women not only behind the wall, but also who was struggling with a substance abuse problem as well. At first she wasn’t sure how to go about the process, so she started by doing research to see the number of female detainees and inmates that had been arrested and were incarcerated, also and for what reason? Unfortunately, to her surprise women were becoming the fastest growing population in the penal institutions and mostly due to drug usage and or trafficking.
That’s when Dee Dee immediately decided that something had to be done to assist women and their children who had been caught up in the criminal justice system because of bad choices. Over the 25 years span she has provided many religious services to both males and females at Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) and to validate her belief that gender specific programs for women were lacking. It appeared that programs were specifically designed for men and tweaked for women. So, with that being the case it was important to re-evaluate the needs of women in order to create tailor-made gender specific culturally diverse programs to address the mental, emotional and social needs of the women she wanted to serve.
She went to work by contacting the DePaul University Law Clinic and solicited them to assist with establishing a 501 c 3 not-for-profit organization in order to provide and facilitate supportive services to women with substance abuse from all walks of life. Dee Dee currently facilitates Recovery Management support groups with the emphasis on educational treatment, “providing medicine without chemicals” to ensure the necessity of transformative recovery. From spending quality time with these women her belief system now is, “They did not all choose the lifestyles that they were living, but the lifestyle had chosen them in actuality, and was holding many captive”!
Therefore, SISTAH was created April 2006 and birth out of a need in order to set the captives FREE.