Optimistic Springs Logo draft 1 - transp

Who We Are

Young Woman

"Between 1980 and 2019, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700%, rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 222,455 in 2019." - The Sentencing Project

Why It Matters:

"I changed my life back in 2012, after being diagnosed with depression and being homeless while addicted to drugs and alcohol for twenty something years. I had a pretty good childhood until my mother passed away and that traumatic event sent me into a tailspin of uncertainty about life. After several attempts to straighten-up, I just wasn’t ready to give myself a chance at a happy life. I made my mind up the very last time that I was in Cook County Jail and decided to give myself a chance at life." 

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Shappette Taylor -  Founder & CEO

Optimistic Springs, Inc.

Since that time, Ms. Taylor has been active in Social Services for the past 9 years, working in medical centers, schools, retirement communities, nursing homes, recovery homes and shelters.  She has had the pleasure of serving senior citizens, intellectually disabled, homeless, adolescents, children in early head start and pregnant women.


There are many women who are like Ms. Taylor, experiencing traumatic life altering events that propel them into negative cycles and increases their chances of becoming part of the prison population.  These times can be reflective and some women do decide to change their lives and need help to start over.  When that help is not available, far too often women fall into the gap and are lost like one young lady who was found deceased in a hotel room just a week after being released.  It matters to us that women have  resources to a fresh start.

Vision & Mission 


Optimistic Springs hopes to empower the formerly incarcerated and their families in creating a successful future built on strategic leadership and character development. By assisting those fighting for second chances, we strive to serve, build and strengthen our community.



Optimistic Springs is dedicated to preventing and reducing crime.  Specifically, we develop and provide transitional services to assist female ex-offenders in making and sustaining transformative changes. To ensure that it captures and implements the most effective methods through which clients can prepare to successfully reenter their communities, we employ well qualified staff members, thus utilizing standardized curricula and stay abreast of cutting-edge research in the field. Optimistic Springs maintains collaborative relationships with public and private partners to create supportive networks for each client, and to bolster and strengthen the community’s stake in each client’s maintaining a law-abiding, productive lifestyle upon reentry.

Optimistic Springs Inc.

Joliet, Illinois

(779) 206-4116