Certified Volunteer Qualifications
- Deliver a service that meets a need that has been identified by facility staff.
- Make a commitment to provide on-going service.
- Provide references to be checked for positive evidence of ethical, professional, and personal integrity.
- Complete a formal, documented, orientation/training program prior to assignment.
- Agree in writing to abide by all agency policies particularly those relating to confidentiality of information and security practices, using Attachment 1 (Volunteer Service Agreement) to SOP 109.01.
- Agree to fingerprinting and background checks.
- Provide required assurances regarding performance of duty, confidentiality, personal/business dealings with offenders and liability.
- Work under the direction of a staff supervisor with a written “Description of Duties “.
Volunteers shall not:
- Be under 18 years of age.
- Be a family member or close friend of an offender in the same facility in which the Volunteer’s work takes place.
- Be on an offender’s visitor list.
- Be an ex-offender, unless approved following the procedures described SOP 109.01 paragraph 9.
- Perform professional services unless certified or licensed.
- Represent in an official or unofficial way, or be a member of, an organization identified as a “hate group” by the Office of Professional Standards or otherwise espousing an ideology of discrimination or violence toward others based upon an individual’s race, gender, religion, national origin, or other identity.
- Be a registered sex offender or listed on a sex offender registry.
Former Offenders as Volunteers
Ex-offenders can be valuable as staff resources, as well as powerful role models in offender rehabilitation programs. Security considerations require careful and consistent supervision of any ex-offenders in correctional service.
To that end, an ex-offender may become a Certified Volunteer provided that:
- There is no evidence of criminal behavior since release from prison.
- Maximum time served and released offenders have been out for three (3) years with no probation, parole, or pending criminal charges.
- Maximum released offenders have been out for three (3) years with no probation, parole or pending criminal charges.
- Probationers and Parolees are completely off parole and/or probation and have been out for three (3) years.
- In all felony cases and misdemeanor criminal offenses, offenders must be totally “off paper” for three (3) years to be considered for GDC volunteer service. Infrequent traffic related moving violation offenses are subject to review but do not absolutely disqualify volunteer service under this 3 year “off paper” policy.
- Reference checks provide evidence of maturity, sobriety and a record of responsible citizenship.
- All normal procedures for certification have been satisfactorily completed as described above.
- The application for certification has been cleared by the State Director of Volunteer Services for final approval by the Commissioner or his designee.
Department Employees As Volunteers
Department employees may serve as Certified Volunteers provided that:
- The volunteer work in no way conflicts with employee responsibilities; including that GDC employees shall not volunteer at the facility where they are employed.
- They conduct their services as volunteers, under existing SOP regulations, identification and supervision, not as employees.
- They are placed on the Facility Volunteer list, assigned a staff supervisor and NOT issued a Volunteer I.D. card, following all standard procedures for volunteer certification.
Note: The Georgia Department of Corrections reserves the right to refuse anyone access to any facility or to terminate volunteer status at any time and for any reason.