Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

DISTRICT POLICIES

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TITLE: Citizen Involvement And Volunteers

POLICY

The Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services shall develop partnerships within the community to enhance the delivery of services by utilizing citizen involvement through volunteers and interns. Volunteers and interns shall assist in District programs and specialized units to assist the offenders and supervising officers. Their roles may include, but are not limited to roles as advisors, interpreters between the programs and the public, in direct service roles, and in cooperative endeavors with offenders under supervision.

The District shall seek recruitment for volunteers and interns from all cultural and socioeconomic segments of the community.

PROCEDURE

The District Director will assign a staff person for coordinating, recruiting, promoting and maintaining interns and volunteer citizen involvement for the District.

  1. Citizen advisory committees shall be formed to assist with various programs, such as the Re-entry Program and the Youthful Offender Program. Opportunities should be created for direct and continuing contact between individual citizen volunteers and offenders.
  2. Departments and/or individual officers shall contact the District's coordinator requesting volunteers/interns when needed to accomplish departmental goals.
  3. Recruitment of volunteers and interns:
    1. The District's coordinator will solicit the community for volunteers from outside agencies, churches, neighborhood associations or any other groups or individuals.
    2. The coordinator will solicit area colleges to attain interns by placing flyers within the college placement offices for prospective interns.
  4. Screening and selection shall call for the recruitment of volunteers and interns from all cultures and socioeconomic segments of the community.
  5. Volunteers and interns must complete the orientation and training program before providing any services to the offender and the District.
    1. Volunteers/interns shall contact the District's coordinator if interested in working for the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.
    2. The District's coordinator will send or give an application form to the prospective volunteer/intern.
    3. When returned, the application will be reviewed and a NCIC check will be completed on all prospective volunteers and interns.
      1. Prospective volunteers/interns CAN NOT have any pending charges or be under the active supervision of any criminal justice department or agency whether federal, state, or local.
      2. Prospective volunteers/interns with any previous arrest(s) must receive prior approval by the District Director or designee to continue in the process to be a volunteer or intern for the District.
        1. All prospective volunteers/interns must have been arrest free for the past two years prior to application as a volunteer/intern.
    4. When the prospective volunteer/intern has been cleared through NCIC and approval has been received from the District Director, the District's coordinator will set up an orientation and training session with the prospective volunteer/intern.
    5. At the orientation and training session the District's coordinator shall:
      1. Photo copy the volunteer/intern's picture ID.
      2. Collect certifications/licenses, if applicable.
      3. Review the volunteer/intern manual, which includes the following:
        1. Confidentiality Policy.
        2. Drug-Free Workplace Policy and Substance Abuse Policy.
        3. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.
        4. Sexual and Other Discriminatory Harassment Policy.
        5. Sexual Misconduct Policy.
        6. Use of Force Policy.
        7. Use of Computer Equipment and Software Policy.
        8. Work Rules Policy.
        9. Worker's Compensation Policy.
        10. The District's Mission Statement and the history of the District.
      4. The volunteer/intern shall sign acknowledgments that he/she has reviewed, understands, and agrees to abide by all of the above policies including the Work Rules.
      5. The District's coordinator and the prospective volunteer/intern will review and sign the Volunteer/Intern Agreement.
      6. The District's coordinator will maintain a file on each volunteer/intern. The file shall consist of application, photo ID, certifications or licenses, signed agreements, and signed acknowledgments that all applicable manuals have been reviewed.
      7. The prospective volunteer/intern shall receive a copy of each of the volunteer/intern agreements and manuals to study and review during the course of their volunteer citizen involvement or internship.
      8. The District's coordinator will discuss his/her goals and placement with the volunteer/intern. Placement will be based on the District's and the volunteer/intern's needs.
      9. The District's coordinator in coordination with the volunteer/intern will determine the term of service that will be completed by the volunteer/intern.
      10. The District's coordinator will give volunteer/intern a time sheet, if required.
    6. The District's coordinator will contact the individual officer or the officer's supervisor that requested a volunteer/intern and discuss the prospect's credentials and placement. If the volunteer/intern is still needed, the coordinator will send a copy of the volunteer/intern's application form, photo ID, time sheet and certifications/licenses to the officer or supervisor.
      1. If the volunteer/intern is no longer needed at the requested placement, the District's coordinator will send an e-mail to all supervisors in the District to find a placement for the volunteer/intern.
    7. The District's coordinator will make monthly contact to check on the status of the volunteer/intern.
  6. The supervisor will assign a designated staff member to supervise the volunteer/intern.
    1. The designated staff member shall define the responsibilities and tasks, assign the authority, and train the volunteer/intern.
    2. General rules for the volunteer/intern:
      1. Volunteers/intern shall not drive District vehicles.
      2. Volunteers/interns shall meet with offenders at the discretion of the supervising staff, but will be monitored.
      3. Volunteers/interns shall also be monitored while entering data into ICON or completing other computer work.
      4. Volunteers/interns shall never make an arrest or assert physical force against an offender other than in case of self-defense.
      5. Volunteers/interns shall not present themselves to the Court, the Iowa Board of Parole, or the public as a representative of the District. They will need to identify themselves as a volunteer or intern in all instances.
        1. Volunteers/interns shall not submit any reports or documents to the Court, the Iowa Board of Parole, or any public or private agencies without first having that report reviewed and approved by the designated staff person in charge and that person's supervisor.
      6. Volunteers/interns shall abide by the District's Work Rules and the Confidentiality Policy.
      7. As addressed in the work rules, volunteers are not allowed to accept any bribe, gift or gratuity from any current or former client nor may any volunteer offer the same. However, with prior supervisor or designee approval, volunteers may do an organized gift or donation to an offender or group of offenders as long as it is sanctioned by the Department and has been approved by the supervisor or designee.
    3. General Goals for the volunteer/intern:
      1. Participate in advisory committees.
      2. Assist the District staff in their general duties.
      3. Co-facilitate groups, if applicable.
      4. Gain an understanding of the mission of corrections, types of services offered, and the population served.
      5. Develop skills and the abilities to complete assigned tasks in accordance with the District's Mission Statement and best practices.
  7. Set schedule for the volunteer/intern.
    1. Unless certified or licensed, volunteers/interns shall not perform professional services.
      1. When documentation of certificates/licenses is verified, volunteers and interns still cannot provide services unless approved by the District Director.
  8. Termination of the volunteer/intern's services will be conducted by the District coordinator and the appropriate Assistant Director. The designated staff member assigned to the volunteer/intern shall report any violation of the Confidentiality Policy, Work Rules, Volunteer/Intern Agreement or any other District policies to their immediate supervisor. Reasons for termination may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Violation of the District's Work Rules or any District policy.
    2. Disruption of the delivery of services.
    3. Any activity that threatens the security of the District.
    4. Any activity that threatens the safety of the volunteer/intern.
  9. The District provides Worker's Compensation and General Liability Insurance coverage for all employees (including volunteers/interns) while providing services for the District, except for a "willful and wanton act or omission or malfeasance in office…." Chapter 25 A, Code of Iowa.
  10. When requested, the designated staff member shall complete an evaluation of the volunteer/intern when his/her term of service is completed.
  11. Upon completion of the volunteer term or internship, the volunteer/intern shall complete an exit survey or interview with the District's volunteer/intern coordinator.
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