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Do you have information on the use of volunteers in prisons, jails, and the community?

This Knowledgebase focuses on the use of volunteers in criminal justice settings. Volunteers can and do provide a variety of services within state and local correctional systems. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing special instruction in a particular area such as tutoring and conducting classes
  • Assisting staff in daily office activities to free them for more direct work with inmates
  • Organizing or officiating games during recreation and sports related activities
  • Providing assistance to facility's library by collecting books
  • Serving as resource to advise inmates on various topics such as developing a budget or employment preparation
  • Assisting with religious related activities such as worship services or study of scriptures
  • Participating with an organized group already active at facility such as Yokefellow Prison Ministry, Alcoholics Anonymous or Prison Fellowship
  • Providing or coordinating special entertainment events such as singing groups and plays
  • Assisting in locating suitable residence and/or employment plans for an inmate before release
  • Providing transportation to employment or for family to visit facility
  • Serving as a role model by being a sponsor for an eligible inmate and escorting them to approved activities in the community
  • Serving as member of facility's Community Resource Council

Volunteer Opportunities

Indiana Department of Corrections, 2017

Handbook for Volunteers

New Jersey Department of Corrections, 2016

Volunteer Orientation Guide 

Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, 2016

TDOC Volunteer Services Training Manual

Tennessee Department of Corrections, 2014

Handbook for Volunteers

Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 2013

Volunteer Orientation and Training Manual

Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, 2012