Texas Catholic Correctional Ministers
The Catholic Dioceses of Texas
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"For I was in prison and you visited me." (Matthew 25)

 

Resources and Information for Volunteers
 

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Volunteer Training Information:

Oversight and coordination of religious volunteer programs within TDCJ are under the jurisdiction of the Chaplaincy Department of the Rehabilitation Programs Division. The Chaplaincy Department provides a variety of morally enriched programs that encourage offenders to pursue their faith, reconcile relationships and strengthen their families.

Information and guidelines for volunteering at TDCJ units can be found at the TDCJ Rehabilitation Programs Division, Volunteer Services Program
website.    

As stated on the website, “The role of the volunteer within TDCJ is to provide guidance in specific activities and programs, promote personal growth and development, provide support and assistance to victims and offenders, and help facilitate re-entry into the community.” 

If you are interested in becoming an approved volunteer within TDCJ, you must first submit an application, which can either be completed on-line and faxed to TDCJ 
or printed and then completed and mailed to TDCJ at the address indicated on the application form. Following receipt and processing of the application, TDCJ will contact you to arrange your attendance at a volunteer orientation session. The session typically last for approximately four (4) hours and is conducted at various TDCJ prison or jail units throughout the state. Attendance at an orientation session is required in order to become an approved volunteer within TDCJ. 

All approved volunteers are further required to undergo retraining every two (2) years. To help meet this requirement, TDCJ offers on-line retraining for volunteers who have previously completed the on-site training. On-line retraining must alternate with on-site training every two (2) years.

Volunteers programs or services at TDCJ units must have prior approval before implementation or presentation to the offenders. If you plan to start a new program at a TDCJ correctional facility, you must submit a program proposal form to the rehabilitation Programs Division, which can be found on-line at the TDCJ Volunteer Services Program website. It is recommended that you first discuss any new program with the Criminal Justice/Correctional ministry coordinator of your diocese, who may be able to assist you with its implementation. Contact information for each diocese's correctional ministry can be found below the diocesan map at this website. You will also need to obtain approval and coordinate the implementation of the program with the chaplain of the unit at which you plan to serve. A schedule of all TDCJ units along with the contact information of unit chaplains can be found here.

An overview of the TDCJ volunteer program along with its regulations and guidelines can be found in a Handbook for Volunteers in either PDF or Word formats.


Other Volunteer Opportunities

Seedling's Promise

The Seedling Foundation is an Austin-based non-profit that responds to the needs of public schools in Travis County by providing resources, assistance and programming. Their activities include a school-based mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities on how to become a mentor and change a life, visit Seedling's web site.


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Documents for Use in Correctional Ministry:

Texas Catholic Action Plan for Criminal Justice    
  
Priests and Deacons Support Packet
     
USCCB: Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime & Criminal Justice

Rite of Communion Service Outside Mass 


S
acramental Preparation (RCIA) in Correctional Units:

Sacramental Preparation (RCIA) Manual for use in a Correctional Facility (Word Document)

Sacramental Preparation (RCIA) Manual for use in a Correctional Facility (PDF Document)

TDCJ Catholic Inquirer (RCIA) Application (Word Document)

TDCJ Catholic Inquirer (RCIA) Application (PDF Document)

Guides & Study Programs from Dismas Ministry:


Sources for Bibles & Other Documents: 
  


Fact-filled brochure on factors leading to incarceration:

    Stopping the Cycle

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