The governing authority for all in-prison volunteering is the Texas Department of Criminal Justic (TDCJ). Anyone who volunteers with a prison ministry must abide by the rules of the TDCJ and attend their training. The TDCJ realizes volunteers are an essential element in the rehabilitation and re-entry of offenders into the community. Volunteers assist in providing literacy and educational assistance, life skills, job skills, and parenting classes. They also facilitate medical education and prevention training as well as arts and crafts programs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, faith-based programming, and other programs determined by TDCJ to aid in the transition between confinement and society. The link below takes you to the main information website page for the TDCJ.
All Prison Ministry volunteers serving at Texas Prisons must be approved through the TDCJ. Regularly scheduled Volunteer Training Sessions are also required and provided by the TDCJ. Using the TDCJ link above, scroll down on the page to “Volunteer Opportunities.” The “Volunteer Application” is available in both English and Spanish as well as downloadable in both PDF and MS Word .doc formats. Simply click on the preferred file where you are then prompted to either “open” or “save” the document as you choose. The paragraph below the Volunteer Application includes the link to open or download the official TDCJ’s “Volunteer Handbook.” Above the “Volunteer Application” paragraph on the TDCJ’s Volunteer page is a link to “Volunteer Training/Orientation Schedule” either by date or by city. All prison ministry volunteers will also need to attend this training.