JJM Event Acknowledgement Form
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Letter Writing Policy and Do's and Don'ts
Acknowledgment and Personal Information
JUVENILE JUSTICE MINISTRY
YOUTH FOR CHRIST OF KERN COUNTY
LETTER WRITING POLICY
If a minor that is incarcerated in a juvenile facility wishes to contact a volunteer through letter writing for questions concerning their faith, or what the Bible has to say concerning a topic. They may do so and the volunteer must agree to this letter writing policy.
1) This signed document must be kept on file at the Youth for Christ office from every volunteer in YFC’s Juvenile Justice Ministries.
2) All letters will be addressed to Youth for Christ, 2131 California Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93304. No names on the envelopes or they will be returned as “not at this address”. The letter may have the volunteers name on it. Letters will be screened prior to giving to the volunteer.
3) The volunteer agrees that any return letter to the ward must be pre-read by the YFC staff prior to mailing the letter.
4) That all letters received and sent will be done through the YFC office.
5) Volunteers should not engage in any over or undue familiarity with the minors. If you are familiar with their family or friends or if they are familiar with yours, don’t engage in this discussion.
6) Volunteers are to maintain a helpful but professional attitude and demeanor. Your answers should be based on the Bible and not of your own opinions or ideas. Your demeanor is that you are a minister, conduct yourself as one.
7) Volunteers should avoid discussing personal affairs.
8) The volunteer must not make any attempt to contact the minor once they are released.
VOLUNTEER DO's and DON'Ts in Kern County Probation Department's Juvenile Facilities
This document is not a clearance to go inside any juvenile facility.
By signing this it becomes a record you have read and agree to abide by the rules set forth by the Kern County Probation Department’s policies and Youth for Christ’s policies.
1) Maintain a reliable schedule; you are counted on.
2) If you are unable to appear as scheduled, notify the juvenile facility. Youth for Christ’s (YFC) guidelines are that you notify your YFC Supervisor who will try to find a replacement, if unable to do so they will notify the facility staff of your absence. Don’t be a no show call us as soon as possible at 661.323.9041 or your supervisor’s cell number, which you can obtain from them.
3) Always sign the Volunteer Sign-In Log and YFC as the organization and indicate hours.
4) Always wear your Probation Department issued I.D. (Saturday Event Volunteers will not be required to do so, unless you were issued one)
5) Adhere to all safety rules.
6) Be alert to unusual behavior.
7) Look for opportunities to enforce good behavior. Educate the students on how to get involved in your church.
8) Support efforts of other volunteers and staff.
9) Communicate your whereabouts to Institutional Staff.
10) Get assistance when dealing with a hostile or defiant students. It is the Institutional staff’s job to control any infractions and not ours.
11) Project a positive attitude. Use courteous language; avoid sarcasm, or derogatory terms. Be a positive role model.
12) Keep valuables secure on your person or locked in your car. Don’t leave keys in car. Check and keep purses and cell phones in the trunk of your vehicle.
13) Inform the Volunteer Coordinator if you wish to maintain contact with students after release (usually discouraged). Inform your YFC supervisor if you wish to maintain contact with a student after release, they will notify the Volunteer Coordinator.
14) Give clear and thorough instructions to student when assigning tasks: who, what, when, where, how.
15) Report and/or document significant problems, disruptions, or injuries. Include depression, uncooperativeness, rudeness, and/or aggressive behavior.
16) Discuss problem areas with the Volunteer Coordinator or Institutional Staff. All concerns should be brought to your YFC supervisor before any action is taken. Be aware that students may try to manipulate you into violating rules.
17) Get Institutional Staff approval if a student is to receive an item from you. Check with your YFC supervisor before you ask the institutional staff, we may be able to help you get it cleared. Never give out anything without permission.
18) Abide by a Conservative Dress Code.
1) Don’t use YFC programs as an opportunity to visit with students you know personally. The identity of minors is protected by law (which means we are not to identify a student unless the minor does so first). Special visitation needs to be scheduled with the students Probation Officer.
2) No physical contact is allowed with any youth within the facility. (i.e. No hugs, fist bumps, or high 5) Handshakes only.
3) Don’t give out any personal addresses or phone numbers.
4) Don’t show undue favoritism to an individual student or ethnic group.
5) Don’t compromise rules to maintain a friendship or for any other reason.
6) Don’t engage in any activity that you believe to be unsafe.
7) Don’t leave a group of students unattended.
8) Don’t criticize other volunteers or staff to students.
9) Don’t ridicule or allow others to ridicule a student, volunteer or staff.
10) Don’t mistake the desire to be honest with the ability to be honest.
11) Don’t overlook a problem in the hopes that it will go away.
12) Don’t talk about confidential matters or identify student to anyone outside the institution.
13) Don’t forget to check in at Juvenile Hall’s, Crossroad’s and Camp Owen’s control counter and sign Probation Volunteer Sign-In Log.
14) Don’t give a student’s gifts without checking with Volunteer Coordinator or institutional staff.
15) Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
16) Don’t be under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.
17) Don’t pass notes or other forms of communication from one student to another.
18) Don’t discuss controversial issues such as abortion, sexual orientation, or the death penalty. These issues are extremely controversial and cannot be dis-cussed no matter how you personally feel about the subject. If a Ward initiates and asks for spiritual guidance regarding these issues, point those to scrip-ture only never discuss in a group setting.
19) Don’t volunteer inside any institution if you have a relative in JH/CEO/Crossroads/Pathways. You may volunteer after your relative has been released.
20) Don’t appear uncooperative. If you have an issue, bring it to your YFC supervisor who will advocate for you or explain the reasons behind a specific action.
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