VWHI work in correctional facilities is divided up into these sections:
4th Ave, Durango, Estrella, Lower Buckeye, Towers
MEN’ S UNITS :
Durango Jail: 3225 W. Gibson Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85009
Lower Buckeye Jail (LBJ): 3250 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Phoenix, AZ 85009
4TH Avenue Jail: 201 S. 4th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Towers Jail: 3127 W. Gibson Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85009
WOMEN’S JAIL :
Estrella Jail: 2939 W. Durango Road, Phoenix, AZ 85009
VOLUNTEERING (click here for process for getting badged)
Men jails: Women may volunteer, but must be accompanied by another person; it does not have to be a male co-chair – it can be 2 women chairing at the men’s jails.
Estrella – women’s jail: Men may volunteer, but must be accompanied by another person; it does not have to be a female co-chair – it can be 2 men chairing at Estrella.
- Two years of sobriety for a volunteer ID Badge (full access & may chair solo)
- Submit MCSO application & required paperwork
- Attend a 3-hour training class
- Obtain a Valley Wide H&I Sponsorship Letter (which is the “Sponsoring Agency”) from the MCSO Liaison
- Has fingerprints taken at the Sheriff’s office for a full background / criminal records clearance check
- Once approved by MCSO, volunteer is issued a photo ID
- One year of sobriety for a volunteer “Gate Pass” – volunteers may only enter with a “Badged” volunteer
- Submit MCSO application & required paperwork
- Obtain a Valley Wide H&I Sponsorship Letter from the VWHI MCSO Liaison, NOT your AA sponsor (VWHI is the “Sponsoring Agency”)
- Once approved by MCSO, the volunteer receives a temporary 90-day “Gate Pass” which is renewable up to one year & is accepted at all MCSO jails
ALL Applicants Must Be “Off-Paper”:
- At least 1 year since serving a term of probation or parole; or since incarcerated on any charge – even if the charge is dismissed.
- Documentation of the end date of probation or parole is required.
- At least 1-year after incarceration resulting from a misdemeanor conviction.
- At least 3 years after incarceration resulting from a felony conviction.
The “Sponsorship Letter” is from the “Sponsoring Agency” – Valleywide H&I, (not your AA Steps Sponsor), which comes from the MCSO Liaison. Contact the MCSO Liaison here.
The temporary “Gate Pass” can be completed electronically & issued by the MCSO Volunteer Coordinator, Bridget Mack. Scan & email the application, Handbook & PREA Acknowledgments along with a copy (front & back) of your driver’s license. The VWHI Liaison or Jail Coordinators can submit the Sponsorship Letter for a Gate Pass.
If you meet the 2 or more years sobriety requirements, you may want to start with the Gate Pass.
Some people prefer this route for several reasons:
- Faster turnaround time – electronically submitted & processed within a week
- You may co-chair with a “badged” volunteer while waiting for your own badge; until fingerprinting & training classes are scheduled / completed
- You are cleared to go in as a guest speaker
- If you have a fluctuating work schedule, you can see if this service work is a good ‘fit’ for you, without committing to a specific day or jail
▪ All volunteers must be listed with the Control Desk at each jail where they are chairing (all meetings, days/times, & locations). The Jail Program Asst. will ensure volunteers’ info is given to the Control Desk.
ONLY LISTED VOLUNTEERS WILL BE ALLOWED ACCESS INTO THE JAILS .
▪ Contact the VWHI Jail Coord. or MCSO Liaison to be added when chairing a new meeting or changing to a different meeting; day, time, or jail.
▪ Call the Control desk if you’re unable to attend your scheduled meeting – even if you have a sub in place, they need to know who’s coming, call if you’ll be late & end meetings on time.
Control Desk #s for each jail are listed in the back of the Volunteer Handbook.
Alhambra, Florence, Lewis, Phoenix West
The Arizona Department of Corrections runs these facilities. The approval/badging process is similar for above listed locations. An application, training, fingerprints and TB test are required with 2 years of sobriety. If you have a felony conviction, 3 years sobriety and proof of employment or disability required. You must be “of paper” 5 years. You can apply and they make their determinations on a case-by-case basis. Speakers can go in on a one-time basis, 1 year sobriety requirement. Perryville and Lewis have different requirements than above. See the coordinators for differences.
Florence has several yards and houses men. Some are state run and some are privately run. Women can volunteer. The requirements are similar for both types of facilities. They have a 1-year sobriety requirement and 5 years since a felony. Badging requirements are different for each facility. They need volunteers.
Phoenix West is a privately run men’s facility that houses only DUI offenders. This facility also allows women to chair meetings. The approval process is similar to the state except 1 year of sobriety is required and over 21 yrs old. It is located between Lower Buckeye and Buckeye on 35th Ave.
Alhambra/Aspen is a men’s facility, located at 24th Street & Van Buren. Women can help if accompanied by a man. A badge is required to volunteer.
Perryville is a women’s facility, located at I-10 and Cotton Lane in the West Valley. Felons are accepted case by case. 3 yrs “of paper” and 3 yrs sobriety.
Lewis is a men’s facility but men or woman can chair meetings. The facility is located in Buckeye, Arizona. If you are interested in volunteering, the coordinator will help you team up with someone so carpooling is an option.
Men’s Medium Security Correctional Facility, Women’s Minimum Security Camp
Both are located North, of the 1-17 and Pioneer Rd. (Past the Carefree exit). Men chair men’s meetings and women chair women’s meetings. The approval/badging process requires an application, fingerprints, and a 4-hour orientation/training at the facility with 5 years sobriety required. (No guest speakers.)