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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78675 Find in a Library
Title: Citizen Volunteers Are Breaking Into Jail
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:43  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1981)  Pages:54,56,58
Author(s): F G Mullaney
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 3
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Reasons for the growth in volunteerism in jail programs and types of jail volunteer programs are discussed.
Abstract: Volunteers in jail are no longer rare exceptions, even if they are not yet the rule. Jails are increasingly being opened to citizen volunteers, most often at the invitation and initiative of the jail administrator or sheriff. Voluntarism is increasing in jails because citizens are tired of being passive in a losing fight against crime. They want to provide an input that will make a difference in stemming the tide of criminal behavior. Jail administrators are seeking more volunteers, not only because they can increase jail services (in many cases required by court decisions) at minimal cost, but because they provide effective one-to-one relationships with prisoners, which rarely occur between prisoners and jail staff. One-to-one programs, which link a citizen volunteer with a prisoner before release and continue after release, operate in many jails. Job-finding and job-keeping programs operated with both paid and volunteer staff are the fastest growing volunteer programs. Volunteer chaplaincy services, art classes, tutoring, library services, workshops, and music classes are also frequently offered in jails. A new frontier for volunteers in criminal justice is in the area of alternatives to jail. Volunteers may be used as custodians for accused persons who cannot qualify for release on their own recognizance or make money bail. There are still many jail staff attitudes and other obstacles that inhibit the use of volunteers in jails, but most of these can be overcome. Some organizations that help increase voluntarism by offering technical assistance to deal with these barriers are Offender Aid and Restoration, Friends Outside, and Thresholds.
Index Term(s): Inmate recreational programs; Jails; Post-release programs; Prerelease programs; Volunteer programs
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