Training Required by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Of the 16 Ohio prisons in our service area, six do not have regular participation from outside AA members.
The Area 53 Correctional Facilities Committee (CFC) is working to minimize the obstacles to carrying the message inside Ohio prisons by hosting a convenient Saturday training for AA members willing to attend AA meetings behind the walls.
The training will be held Saturday, September 24th, 10am at the COGF meeting room, 645 West Broad St. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ORDC) staff will conduct the training.
This training is for new volunteers. If you are already approved to attend meetings within ORDC facilities you do not need to attend, although you are welcome if you want to review policies or have questions.
The ORDC requires that volunteers complete 3-4 hour training course before going in. Usually, this is done one-on-one with Recovery Services staff when new AA volunteers ask. However, scheduling can sometimes be difficult for those who work. We hope to assist AA members in meeting these requirements by offering volunteer training on Saturday at a central location.
In addition to the training course, ODRC requires a background check on all volunteers. The background check forms will be available at the training. A history of criminal offenses does not eliminate you from consideration; however, ODRC does want to have confidence that criminal behavior is a thing of the past. Approval decisions are made by the DRC staff persons who review applications.
Within the CFC, we call AA members who support inside meetings Outside Sponsors. These AA members help connect the inside group to the whole of Alcoholics Anonymous. They bring in speakers, literature, and share experience with how a group operates. They also help to connect incarcerated members with AA Correspondents and Pre-Release Contacts by providing sign-up forms.
Currently these Ohio prisons in Area 53 have no Outside Sponsor:
- Southeastern Correctional Institute: Hocking (Nelsonville)
- Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Lucasville)
- Belmont Correctional Facility – Reintegration Camp (Near Steubenville)
- Marion Correctional Institution – Main Compound
- Marion Correctional Institution – Reintegration Camp
- Chillicothe Correctional Institution – Camp
Outside Sponsors don’t have to “go it alone.” The Area 53 CFC seeks to assist individuals, groups and districts in carrying the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers, especially those confined in, or recently released from jails, prisons, and other correctional facilities. The committee’s goal is that there be at least one meeting per week with outside support available to anyone incarcerated within Area 53. We need the help of AA members who are willing to take on the commitment of supporting a group meeting behind the walls.
Beyond attending meetings in a prison, there are several other ways an outside AA member can support the recovery efforts of alcoholics who are incarcerated. CFC Quarterly meetings serve as a forum for sharing experience among outside sponsors as well as learning about our correspondence and pre-release contact projects. CFC Quarterly meetings will be held at 10am Saturday September 3rd and December 3rd in the COGF meeting room, 645 West Broad St., Columbus, OH. The September meeting will include the election of trusted servants for the 2017-2018 term.