Volunteer FAQ

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Yes. Contact the department volunteer coordinator or the facility volunteer coordinator for more details.

Each facility is operated and managed differently due to custody levels, physical plant structure and administrations. The orientation is designed to familiarize volunteers to the unique differences in the respective facilities as well as with the different emergency procedures. If you move to another facility or add a facility, you will need to attend that facility's orientation.

No. IDJC and county jails are separate entities from the IDOC and have their own policies and procedures for volunteers.

Part of IDOC's mission is to protect the public. This is taken very seriously and is perhaps our most important mission. One of the most effective ways of mitigating any potential danger is through training. Volunteers hold a unique position with the department in that they personally interact with offenders on a sometimes daily basis. It is imperative that volunteers are aware of issues that may arise when working with this segment of the population.

No. Volunteers are not IDOC employees and therefore are not entitled to the services of the Idaho Attorney General's office under Idaho statute.

The most important mission of the IDOC is to protect the public. The last thing we want to see is a volunteer becoming involved with an offender or an offender’s family in an inappropriate way.  It has been the policy of IDOC to limit contact between a volunteer and an offender or an offender's family as much as possible once the offender was released. However, we also understand how important appropriate contact may be during the transition and reentry phase back into the community. If an offender is being released completely from IDOC jurisdiction, either off of parole or from incarceration, then contact is appropriate. If an offender is being released into the community either on parole or probation, a volunteer may have contact with an offender under certain circumstances. Please contact the IDOC Volunteer Coordinator to discuss those conditions.

It is possible to be both, but not at the same facility. For example, you will not be able to visit an offender at ISCI and also volunteer at that facility. If the offender is transferred to another facility then you may be approved to volunteer at ISCI and visit the offender at the other facility where he is housed. Please be sure you disclose this information to the facility volunteer coordinator and in your initial application.

The volunteer policy requires that you update your application on an annual basis. Efforts are under way to streamline this process and have the update time period occur two times per year, the middle and end of the year.

The policy and procedure for the IDOC mentor program is currently being formulated. There is a committee of IDOC personnel and volunteers that are working on the project. A pilot program will begin shortly at a couple of select facilities. Because of a more intimate and personal relationship mentors have with offenders, it is imperative to move thoughtfully and cautiously to maintain the safety of both the mentor and the offender and the community.

No. Once you decide you want to volunteer at another facility, inform the volunteer coordinator of your desire and your current application and file will be forwarded to the new facility. You will not need to attend the New Volunteer Training. You may, however, be required to attend a facility orientation prior to beginning service at that facility.

The classroom volunteer training will substitute for the required, annual refresher training until that is online and operational. Once the online refresher training is operational, then the requirement for attending a live, classroom training will be reduced to once every 2 or 3 years; which has yet to be decided. Until then however, if you have not attended the volunteer training, please do so as soon as possible to satistfy the annual refresher training requirement.

No additional paperwork is needed now that the Idaho Department of Correction has assumed operations of the facility. The process for becoming a volunteer is the same as the other IDOC-run facilities.