The Colorado Department of Corrections' volunteers play an important part in the delivery of offender programs inside the state correctional facilities, and in aftercare. Hundreds of active volunteers offer a wide range of program opportunities. These self-improvement programs allow offenders the chance to succeed.
To compliment the departmental mission, Faith and Citizen Programs continually recruits volunteers to support correctional staff and to create opportunities for offenders in a wide variety of activities, including: Addiction rehabilitation programs; Basic educational programs; Faith group chaplains, spiritual advisors, and services; Parenting programs; Recreational programs; and Reintegration programs (inside and outside of prison).
Faith and Citizen Programs Goals:
Provide a positive working environment for volunteers.
Maintain administrative standards and guidelines.
Provide information and technical assistance for program development.
Recruit, train, and supervise volunteers.
Plan the orderly expansion of resources.
Serve as a liaison with other public and private agencies.
Supply information to the public about the department and its functions.
Becoming an active volunteer is easy and the experience can be very rewarding. An application process and a few simple steps are required before being approved to volunteer.
Becoming a CDOC Volunteer
The Department of Corrections is looking for people with the skills that offenders need to successfully re-enter society and a willingness to spend time teaching these skills. Faith and Citizen Programs is interested in proposals for both secular and religious programs. Volunteers are needed to teach computer, educational, life coping, parenting, and reading skills; as well as tutors and faith group volunteers.
PROGRAM APPROVALVolunteer Program Approval requires organizations to submit a Program Description Form form outlining the program mission, vision, curriculum, measures of success and other pertinent details. Both forms are needed for aftercare programs with an inside pre-release piece. Special Event Proposal All Volunteers must be affiliated with an Approved Volunteer Program.
- Application to CDOC: Potential volunteers must make individual application by submitting form 900-1A (two pages). Each applicant will undergo a facility access check to explore criminal history. Volunteers will receive an Approval / Denial Letter when access check is complete. This letter will include instructions for approved volunteers to schedule themselves for the Basic Volunteer Training and will include a statewide training schedule.
- Basic Volunteer Training - BVT (8 Hrs) Only individuals who have been cleared through the application andfacility acces check process are allowed to attend training. Training will include: Introduction to CDOC, Professionalism, Offender Supervision, Games Offenders Play, Positive Professional Communication, Working with Sex Offenders and Female Offenders, and Hostage Survival. Upon successful completion of this training each volunteer will complete the Volunteer Agreement and Training Certification forms. See 2019 Training Schedule here See 2020 Training Schedule here
- Volunteer Aftercare Training - VAT (4 Hrs) Volunteers with approved Aftercare / Mentoring programs are required to attend an additional four hour training specifically designed for those working with ex-offenders. This class builds on the Basic Volunteer Training and is offered throughout the year at various locations around Colorado. Individuals interested in volunteering in approved Aftercare/Mentoring programs may contact the Community Projects Coordinator for the CDOC Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections, and YOS at 303-763-2482 for more information.
- Facility Orientation and Tour (up to 2 Hrs) Facility Orientation Tours are required at each facility a volunteer plans to access. Following successful completion of the Basic Volunteer Training, each volunteer will contact the appropriate Facility Volunteer Coordinator (listed on the Training Schedule) to arrange the Facility Orientation Tour. Upon successful completion of this tour(s) each volunteer will complete the Orientation form to be held for Warden Approval. This step is not required for Aftercare volunteers, unless facility access is necessary.
- Warden Approval - By statute each Warden / designee is responsible for approving all individuals entering the facility. The Warden's signature on the Orientation form satisfies this requirement and completes this process. Volunteer's Facility access is not established until the Warden's signature has been issued and the Faith and Citizen Programs office has processed the forms. Please Note:Approved Volunteers will be notified by mail, e-mail or phone call, by the Facility Volunteer Coordinator once all steps have been completed. Notification will include the program day/date and time of approved facility access. Welcome to the CDOC.
- Volunteer May Now Access CDOC Facility (Per Volunteer Roster) Approved volunteers are not allowed unrestricted access. They may access only for their approved program(s) as scheduled by the Facility Volunteer Coordinator. Approved volunteers are allowed access by signing in and exchanging their photo ID for a Green Volunteer Badge.
- Annual Update Application and facility access check are required. To remain an active CDOC Volunteer each individual is required to submit an Annual Update Application (form AR 900-1A, two page). An annual facility access check will be done and unless something new is revealed the volunteer remains active. You will NOT receive an approval letter for update application approval. Annual update applications are expected to be approved unless there is new criminal history that comes up during the facility access check.
- Update Volunteer Training - UVT (4 hrs) Annually each volunteer is required to attend a four-hour refresher class to remain active. These classes are offered throughout the year at various locations around Colorado. See the current Volunteer Training Schedule for dates and locations.
- Guest Access. Individuals who are potential volunteers or are affiliated with an approved special event must complete and submit a Guidelines for Guests form (AR 900-1J) and a Consent to Search form (AR 300-27C)to affected facilities for consideration.
Faith Item Donations
Faith and Citizen Programs accepts donations of allowable group and personal faith property items. All items are required to be approved and processed through Faith and Citizen Programs. Unsolicited items sent to the department or any facility without prior approval will be denied. Approval by Faith and Citizen Programs must occur before a facility takes custody of the item(s). Friends and family members of incarcerated individuals may not donate or have others donate items to specific offenders, facilities, or groups. Offenders may not solicit donations of personal faith items for themselves or facility faith groups. Approved individuals/organizations may donate items only through Faith and Citizen Programs. (Refer to AR 800-1 Attachment “I.”) Once a donation is made, it becomes the property of the CDOC. Distribution will be determined by Faith and Citizen Programs and based on statewide needs.
- Offenders may not donate faith property to faith groups or individuals.
- Items donated by specific community based faith groups will only be provided to those offenders listed as that faith in CDOC records. Books may be an exception.
- The CDOC is frequently in need of Study Bibles, large print Bibles, Jewish Tallis, Islamic Prayer Rugs and Prayer Beads, Japamala beads, Runes, and Tarot Cards.
Questions may be directed to the FCP Regional Volunteer Coordinator at Buena Vista Minimum Center, P. O. Box 2005, Buena Vista, Colorado 81211; or phone 719-583-5975.