of Visiting a prison
We try to be flexible in requirements for Volunteers during a “Weekend” to allow freedom for the Holy Spirit to use you to the greatest possible extent. At the same time, there are some rules that must be observed and others that have been determined helpful in ensuring you are most effective during your time of ministry. Below is a list of DO’S AND DON’TS, which are rules and regulations that must be adhered to.
1. DO be yourself and DO forget about home.
2. DO attend all scheduled activities, and please be on time.
3. DO bring driver’s license or picture ID (you will not be admitted into prison without one!).
4. DO mingle with the inmates and share with officers and officials.
5. DO be especially careful not to downgrade or criticize any “religion” during the weekend.
6. DO correspond with inmates after the Weekend (through letters or JPAY only).
7. DO eat with inmates when scheduled to do so (and remember that they only have 15 minutes from the time they enter the dining hall until the time they leave).
8. DO let us know immediately if you have a family member or relative in the prison we are visiting.
1. DON’T take anything into the prison with you:
*no billfolds * no knives * no Kleenex * no paper money or coins * no fingernail files
* no chapstick *no cell phones * no lipstick * no mints or gum * no tobacco products
* no Bible covers * no cameras * no tape recorders * no anything
EMPTY YOUR POCKETS!
2. DON’T take anything from an inmate or give anything to an inmate, even as small as a piece of paper. This is a STATE LAW!
(You can give them our address, and they can write to you through our office.)
3. DON’T wear any jewelry other than a watch (no smart-watches) and wedding ring only. No earrings - women or men.
4. DON’T wear open-toed shoes or sandals, shorts, tank tops, capri-length pants, distressed jeans (or any other distressed clothing with holes), jogging suits, workout clothing, leggings (unless hips and bottom are fully covered) or any other form-fitting clothing for men or women. Men should wear collared (polo-type) shirts. NO SOLID WHITE CLOTHING or green jackets during the winter for either men or women!
5. DON’T make promises you won’t or can't keep. If you say you will write them back … write them back!
6. DON’T argue - with other volunteers, with inmates or with prison officials. *This includes topics such as prison rules and conditions, Biblical doctrine, lifestyle choices or political views.
7. DON’T promote your own ministry, solicit funds, or take in any material other than your Bible and the material in your Volunteer Packet.
8. DON’T get in the way of any prison official assisting inmates.
9. DON’T take pictures on prison grounds - this includes any streaming such as Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, etc.
10. DON’T have firearms or hunting knives in your vehicle.
11. DON’T borrow inmate clothing.
12. DON’T run on prison grounds.
13. DON’T leave your jacket, Bible, or any personal belongings laying around unattended.
14. DON’T ask about their crime, and don’t discuss the death penalty.
15. DON’T go into restricted areas without permission.
16. DON’T enter an inmate cell or cubicle.
17. DON’T be concerned about the number of commitments.
18. DON’T offer Bible correspondence courses, Bibles, or literature to inmates. (They are to go through their Unit Chaplain’s office for those items.)
19. DON’T financially support any inmate (it will automatically ban you from the unit that inmate is on.)