On this page, the word “client” will be used to represent inmate, resident, offender, felon, and parolee.
GENERAL PERSONNEL PRACTICES:
The purpose of this Policies and Procedures Manual is to bring together a cohesive set of guidelines to provide an understanding of the personnel and operational policies of the Division of Community Correction (ACC) Volunteer Services.
The information within addresses many aspects of volunteering with the Division of Community Correction and is made available to volunteers, staff, and clients for informational purposes. These policies and procedures may be changed and/or updated at any time by the Volunteer Department or agency. When required, these guidelines may be modified in accordance with local or state laws. When changes are made, the volunteer staff will notify volunteers using the most appropriate means of communication. Compliance with all provisions of these guidelines is expected of all volunteers of ACC.
This is not, and should not, in any way be considered as a contract of employment.
Volunteers are encouraged to use this and/or Volunteer Department as resources for clarification or additional information of any policy or procedure.
The Division of Community Correction will administer a Volunteer Program that encourages, supports, and recognizes the value of community involvement; expands and enhances client services and opportunities; and benefits and supports the ACC mission.
“Improving lives with the help of the community, one offender at a time.“
PERSONNEL PRACTICES PROCEDURES:
The following procedures are guideposts for the Volunteer Department and are written with the intent they be administered in an even, fair-minded manner while leaving room for circumstances which require flexibility.
A position description is prepared when a new position is created or when position duties are significantly changed. The Volunteer Department has final approval of all position descriptions.
- ACC Volunteer Application – Applying is the first step to becoming a volunteer. Applications can be accessed on our website or by contacting the Volunteer Department. The volunteer application is used to establish permanent information and will be confidential and archived after the volunteer’s time has ended. The information on the application is also used to run a mandatory Criminal History report on all volunteers.
- Orientation and Training – All volunteers must attend Volunteer Orientation/Training prior to starting. Orientation and Training are further tools to determine placement.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES PRACTICES:
The Division of Community Correction recognizes the importance and value of a culturally diverse volunteer pool and is committed to a policy of equal opportunity. Every volunteer has the right to work in an environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination.
Background checks are conducted on all prospective volunteers seeking placement with ACC. Depending upon the essential duties noted for the position, background checks will include criminal history, driving record and personal references. Information obtained through a background check is considered confidential and will be managed accordingly.
It is the policy of ACC to create and maintain a secure, professional, and productive work environment, where employees and others conduct themselves in a manner that does not impair ACC operations and does not compromise their authority or erode public confidence. Employees and others are expected to obey laws and departmental policies; uphold generally recognized standards of professional ethics, conduct, and demonstrate respect for the safety, rights, and dignity of others.
ACC fully supports the right to privacy.
- Volunteers are not to discuss clients, other volunteers, staff members by name or any other characteristic by which a client, volunteer, staff member could be identified, with anyone. If a problem or question arises, the volunteer should bring the issue to the attention of the Volunteer Department;
- Volunteers are also expected not to disclose any confidential business or employee/volunteer information obtained in the normal course of their duties regarding the operations of DOC or its’ staff members. Such confidential information includes, but is not limited to compensation information, medical information, financial information, and/or legal documents. Respect and maintain all clients’ confidentiality;
- Refrain from greeting or acknowledging clients outside of DOC unless greeted or acknowledged by the client first;
- Respect and maintain all volunteer confidentiality;
- Enter only designated volunteer area while serving as a volunteer;
- Volunteers are not to bring any additional friends or family with them
Improper or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information may result in disciplinary action, up to and including, termination from volunteering and/or legal action.
RECORDING VOLUNTEER HOURS:
Volunteer time sheets will be provided for each volunteer. The volunteer should check with their supervisor or Volunteer Department at the beginning and ending of each day to verify the hours. All off-site volunteer hours must be recorded and reported to the Volunteer Department as well.
COMPENSATION AND REIMBURSEMENT:
Individuals accepting any position as volunteers will not be compensated for their work. In addition, volunteers will not receive reimbursement for mileage, parking, supplies or anything purchased without prior authorization of the Volunteer Department. The Division of Community Correction will not pay any fines, tickets, towing or any other bills received while doing volunteer work.
The Division of Community Correction is a place of employment, and thus we expect our volunteers to adhere to a code of professional ethics and to conduct themselves in a professional demeanor while working both on and off site. We want all clients, volunteers, and any other community members encountering ACC to be treated with utmost dignity and respect.
- ACC is a place free of discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, marital status, religious or spiritual affiliation, political affiliation, or military status;
- Good customer service skills are required for all positions dealing with clients, staff, community, or in positions where there is contact with parties outside of ACC;
- Refrain from imposing religious or political beliefs on a client, staff, or anyone who is contacting or coming into a ACC facility;
- Volunteers are not to do any task which is outside the scope of their job description. Should you encounter this, simply state that you are “not authorized to perform that task” and if a problem or question arises or you are unsure, please contact the Volunteer Department;
- Volunteers are expected to be on time and to stay for their entire shift;
- If you are taking an extended break or resigning as a volunteer, please notify the Volunteer Department
- Clients are dealing with a variety of life challenges, and you may encounter a variety of different moods and attitudes from them as a volunteer. Please respect what they are going through and their right to privacy. If a client presents you with a challenging situation you are not able to manage, please seek out the Volunteer Department or a staff member to assist;
- Violating any of the other policies contained in this handbook (i.e., confidentiality, sexual relations, sexual harassment, drugs and alcohol, dress code, conflict of interest, workplace violence, weapons, etc.) will be considered a breach of professionalism
HARASSMENT PROHIBITED: ZERO TOLERANCE
HARASSMENT IN GENERAL:
Harassment is any oral, written, visual, physical, or other form of conduct that denigrates, seeks to intimidate or coerce, discriminates against, or shows hostility toward any person based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national origin, age, political affiliation, union membership or activity, HIV status, disability, pregnancy, marital or veteran status, or any other protected status.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT: ZERO TOLERANCE
Any unwelcome sexual advance, or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, constitutes sexual harassment and is expressly forbidden. Such conduct has the purpose and effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile and offensive work environment. Any form of sexual harassment will not be tolerated and is grounds for disciplinary action up to termination and possible criminal charges.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PROHIBITED: ZERO TOLERANCE
The Division of Community Correction will not tolerate any acts of intimidation, threats, bullying or other violent behavior. Any volunteer who is subjected to, witnesses, or has knowledge of actions that could be perceived as violent behavior or has reason to believe that such actions may occur, is expected to report the situation to the Volunteer Department as soon as possible.
Any behavior that is violent or indicates an imminent potential for violent behavior should be reported first to the agency control center or any available supervisor.
ACTING AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF DIVISION OF CORRECTION: NOT ALLOWED
Although you may be asked to attend planning committees, community meetings, or other events, you are not a representative of ACC. You are not allowed to speak on behalf of ACC. All volunteers are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism and respect to the policies, goals, and mission of DCC.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
Volunteers are expected to avoid engaging in any action that might appear to have a conflict of interest with the business of the Division of Community Correction. A conflict of interest arises when an activity limits a volunteer’s ability to act in an ethical or responsible manner as in the following examples:
- Conducting business on behalf of ACC with relatives, domestic partners, and family members;
- Accepting payments, commissions, tips, or rewards from clients, other volunteers, vendors, guests, or any other person doing business with ACC;
- Using ACC facilities or equipment for personal financial gain;
- Borrowing money from or lending money to clients;
- Engaging in practices which violates any federal, state, or local law or violates any regulation which ACC is subject to;
- Revealing or misusing any confidential information proprietary to ACC;
- The employment or utilization of clients for personal favors outside of normal volunteer professional relationship
A volunteer engaged in any activity that has created a conflict of interest will be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, termination and legal action, if appropriate.
Volunteers represent the agency in both behavior and appearance.
Consequently, volunteers are encouraged to use proper judgment in their daily dress and grooming.
In general, DOC endorses a business casual mode of dressing. Volunteers’ presentation should be professional yet not interfere with their ability to build rapport with clients, volunteers, and staff. Volunteer dress and grooming is encouraged to be relaxed, yet neat and clean.
Examples of inappropriate clothing items include:
- Ripped or frayed clothing, including cutoff;
- Workout clothing, such as sweatpants or spandex;
- Transparent clothing;
- Visible undergarments;
- Clothing with words, terms, or pictures, particularly those that may be considered offensive;
- Clothing that advertises alcohol or cigarettes;
- Dirty or soiled garments;
- Flip-flops, thong sandals, or slippers
Examples of appropriate clothing items include:
- Clean, unwrinkled clothing;
- Shirts free of words, terms, or pictures;
- Pants and skirts with tailored hems;
- Blue jeans without holes or rips
- Some unique events may require dressier attire or may be outdoors or involve lifting and setup. Special event volunteers will be notified about any dress requirements prior to the events.
Violation of the dress code may cause a volunteer to be subject to disciplinary action or the volunteer may be sent home to change their clothes or remedy grooming issues, if necessary.
WEAPONS FREE ENVIRONMENT:
The Division of Community Correction values the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, clients, and visitors. No weapons of any kind (guns, knives, etc.) are allowed in any agency building, on the agency grounds, in any client home or while working with a client or at any agency function. Violations will result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination and criminal processing, if appropriate.
DRUG FREE WORKPLACE:
The Division of Community Correction is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace. Our agency values the health and wellness of its employees/volunteers and views substance abuse as detracting from both the health of its employees/volunteers and the productivity of the organization. ACC is also a tobacco free zone. Smoking is not allowed on state property to include the parking lot.
Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of volunteer status.
All volunteers are required to fully document reportable incidents. When writing an incident report or Witness Statement only state the facts. The completed report should be given to the supervisor and or Volunteer Department. Incident reports may be obtained from Volunteer Department or any ACC staff.
VOLUNTEER MISCONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY POLICY:
The Division of Community Correction retains the right to discipline and terminate volunteers from their current placement or from volunteering at ACC when policy and procedures are not followed. Volunteer misconduct and disciplinary issues are reviewed on an individual basis and the Volunteer Department makes final decisions.
Volunteers found in violation of any of the policies and procedures will be assessed. The Volunteer Department will ask questions regarding the events. Depending on the severity of the misconduct, actions may be taken. The possible actions may include, but are not limited to, change of placement, limitations of placement, suspension from volunteering for a period not to exceed one year and/or termination from ACC Volunteer Program.
Serious problems occasionally make it necessary to dismiss an individual from an assignment or from ACC.
Any action to dismiss a volunteer will receive careful, detailed, and confidential consideration.
A volunteer will be dismissed from the agency should policies and procedures be violated and/or if it becomes evident the best interests of the client, volunteer and/or DOC are not being served.
A volunteer may be dismissed from the agency for any of the following reasons:
- Violation of program policies;
- Inappropriate behavior with a client, staff member or other volunteers;
- Unauthorized published public representation of duties, training, activities, and accomplishment as a ACC volunteer;
- Violation of ACC Volunteer Confidentiality Statement;
- Theft of property or money
Volunteers who are found in violation of the policies will be:
- Immediately removed from their current placement;
- Asked to meet with Volunteer Department if applicable;
- Given reasons for the termination in writing;
- Ineligible to volunteer at the Division of Community Correction (either for a specified time or permanently)