Corrections - Volunteers Policy

Policies and Guidelines

Volunteering in Probation and Parole Offices

The following information is a summary of Correctional Services’ policy for volunteering in probation and parole offices.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services welcomes the participation of community volunteers in the delivery of programs and services to offenders. Volunteers provide offenders with opportunities to learn new skills and behaviours and serve as positive role models for offenders.

Volunteer Coordinators

Volunteer coordinators are responsible for the recruiting and training of volunteers, and provide overall leadership of volunteer programs. Placement decisions are based on a match between the volunteer’s abilities and interests, and the offender or program’s needs.

Recruiting Volunteers

All interested individuals are encouraged to apply for volunteer positions with Ontario’s Correctional Services. Major sources of recruitment include:

  • Faith communities and self-help groups
  • Special interest groups, community clubs and other volunteer organizations
  • Local businesses, professional organizations and associations
  • Universities and colleges

Screening Volunteers

Volunteers must be screened to ensure the appropriateness of the individual for the volunteer program. Prospective volunteers must undergo police/criminal record checks and reference checks. Screening procedures are consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

A prospective volunteer with a criminal record can be considered for the volunteer program. The final decision on accepting a prospective volunteer with a criminal record will be made by the area manager.

Training Volunteers

Prior to beginning volunteer duties, all volunteers must receive training in:

  • Administration, case supervision/recording, probation law and enforcement
  • Social work theory, interviewing techniques
  • Ministry structure, mandate, policies and procedures
  • Offender volunteer relationships
  • Confidentiality

Oath of Confidentiality

Every volunteer must sign a Volunteers Oath of Confidentiality form.

Probation and Parole Officer Reports

Trained volunteers may assist probation and parole officers to gather research and other information for preparing court-ordered reports on an offender.

Insurance

The ministry provides insurance coverage for all volunteers or students who do not receive payment for their services. There are no medical payments under this policy as it is assumed that volunteers will have provincial medical coverage.

Exit Interview

The volunteer coordinator will interview departing volunteers in order to obtain suggestions that may be useful in revising or improving the volunteer program.