The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) offers the opportunity to volunteer at all facilities, restitution centers, and community work centers to interested citizens. Areas to volunteer include, but are not limited to:
- Substance abuse counseling
- Religious programs
- Employee training
MDOC defines volunteers as “persons who by their own free will, provide services on a regular basis for the institution/facility with no monetary or material gain.” To become a volunteer, you must first complete an application for volunteer service. Applicants are required to answer all questions or the application may be denied.
To be eligible to volunteer:
- You must be at least twenty-one years of age & sufficiently mature to handle the responsibilities.
- You cannot have immediate relatives or close friends who are offenders.
- If you are an ex-offender seeking to volunteer, you must be free of any criminal justice charges for a period of one year and must be approved by the facility Superintendent/Warden/Director and Director of Treatment & Programs.
In addition, volunteer applicants at all state facilities and community work centers will be processed by the Corrections Investigation Division through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Falsifying information is considered grounds for denial of participation in volunteer programs.
Once the application and the NCIC background check is approved, the applicant is scheduled to attend orientation and training. The orientation and training, which is mandatory for all volunteers, includes information on all rules, applicable procedures and topics to include:
- Confidentiality regulations
- The chain of command
- Security regulations
- Applicable state statutes and Department of Corrections' policy
After completion of orientation and training, volunteers are given an official photo identification card which is necessary to enter an institution or facility. Volunteers are prohibited from bringing anyone into an institution or facility without an identification card. This includes family members or other volunteers.