RULE 159.00.03-004 - AR 7.27 - Volunteer Program

RULE 159.00.03-004. AR 7.27 - Volunteer Program

AR 7.27 VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

I. AUTHORITY. The Board of Corrections is vested with the authority to promulgate this regulation by Ark. Code Ann. ยงยง 12-27-105, 16-93-1203, and 16-93-1205.

II. APPLICABILITY. This policy applies to citizens and Department of Community Correction (DCC) employees.

III. POLICY. It shall be the policy of the DCC to administer a program which encourages, supports, and recognizes the value of citizen involvement in government operations, exerts a positive influence on offenders, and assists staff with routine and specialized duties. This program supplements employee efforts to accomplish the agency mission while providing citizens the opportunity to gain experience and serve the community. Citizens will be given an opportunity to participate in volunteer programs without discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, pregnancy, or disability in compliance with State and federal law.

IV. DEFINITIONS.

A. Intern. A person who provides goods or services (with or without compensation) as part of an educational program for the purpose of learning about and gaining experience in community corrections.

B. Occasional Volunteer. A person who provides volunteer services fewer than 10 hours per month and 50 hours per calendar year.

C. Volunteer. A person who provides ongoing goods or services, more than 10 hours per month or 50 hours per year, without financial gain. For the purposes of this policy, "volunteer" also applies to interns unless otherwise specified.

V. GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES. (4-ACRS-7D-04; 3-3117, 3-3118, 3-3119[P])

A. Volunteer Program Coordinator. A DCC employee will be designated by the Center Supervisor at each Community Correction Center (CCC), the Area Manager or designee at each Area office, and the HRS Administrator at the Central Office, to serve as Volunteer Coordinator. These coordinators must ensure background investigations are conducted on volunteers assigned to work with the DCC. Coordinators should encourage volunteer recognition.

B. Supervision of Volunteers. A DCC supervisor will be assigned to each volunteer or volunteer group. The supervisor is responsible for support and day-to-day consultation with the volunteers. Problem resolution and clarification on policy and practice should come from the normal chain of supervision. The assigned supervisor must ensure volunteers obtain and wear identification which clearly states "VOLUNTEER," "INTERN," or "VISITOR." The supervisor should make the volunteer aware of new or revised policies that affect the volunteer's work. Upon request, supervisors of interns must provide the instructor with a written evaluation of the intern's performance. (4-ACRS-7F-10)

C. Sign-In. All volunteers at a CCC must sign in, be issued temporary identification cards, and be escorted according to CCC procedures.

D. Duties that may be Authorized for Volunteers. Volunteers may provide administrative assistance and serve as advisors, interpreter, tutors, mentors, mental health and substance abuse treatment and other service providers, teachers/trainers, and facilitators. Supervisors of volunteers must develop and provide written volunteer job duties, ensure volunteers have appropriate qualifications and/or credentials for the services they provide, and ensure volunteers do not handle tasks which are likely to impair safety/security, the agency's mission, or public image. Volunteers must not be allowed unsupervised access to confidential or sensitive client or employee information unless their supervisor has approved an exception. Also, Volunteers shall not be allowed to directly supervise offenders. (4-ACRS-7B-03; 3-3121)

E. Recruitment. Volunteers will be recruited without discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, pregnancy, or disability in compliance with State and federal law. Recruitment efforts will solicit volunteers from a cross-section of the community. Once approved by the appropriate supervisor, recruiting can be handled informally through personal contact by employees or volunteer staff or formally through advertisements and presentations. (4-ACRS-7F-08; 3-3120)

F. Volunteer Applications. The prospective volunteer (other than occasional volunteer) must complete Form 1, Volunteer Application, and Form 2, Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability for a volunteer position.

G. Interviews and Placement in Volunteer Jobs and Internships. An informal interview must be conducted by the supervisor with the prospective volunteer (other than occasional) before the volunteer begins work. The purpose of the interview is to assess interests, motivation, job-related knowledge, skills and abilities, training needs, job duties, and expectations. Volunteers should be placed in jobs where the supervisor believes they will be successful. Interns should be placed to best serve their educational goals while supporting the agency mission. The supervisor may choose to establish a projected term of service.

H. Background Investigation. Unless the volunteer is occasional, supervisors of prospective volunteers must conduct or have conducted a background investigation that, at a minimum, includes an ACIC/NCIC check. (4-ACRS-7B-05[P])

I. Orientation/Training. Supervisors must orient new volunteers prior to assignment, and cover at a minimum the topics listed on Form 3, Orientation for Volunteers. Supervisors must provide instruction to volunteers that allows them to safely and efficiently fulfill their responsibilities and to effectively provide services. Training must be appropriate to the needs of the volunteer and the program. Supervisors must keep a volunteer record of training provided and the signed orientation form. (4-ACRS-7F-09; 3-3122, 3-3123)

J. Volunteer Record. At the beginning of service, supervisors must make a record of each volunteer (other than occasional) to include the volunteer's full name, home phone number, address, start date, a photo (for volunteers at CCCs), the volunteer application, background investigation results, and completed orientation form. Subsequent documentation and information may be kept in the record such as training and volunteer hours and service recognition documents. When the volunteer terminates service, the end of service date must be added to the record and the record must be sent to the appropriate Assistant/Deputy Director's office (administrative assistant) who must keep the record for three years.

K. Volunteer Duties, Rules, and Responsibilities. Volunteers should work within their job duties and follow supervisory guidance. Volunteers are expected to follow DCC policy, and any other appropriate guidance. Volunteers shall consider all inter-office communications as confidential in nature. Volunteers should keep a record of the time they work and provide this information to their supervisor.

L. Monitoring the Program. Supervisors must periodically review and evaluate each volunteer's performance of assigned duties. The purpose of the evaluation is to monitor the progress of the program, identify areas for improvement, determine whether the needs and goals are being met, and identify achievements which deserve recognition. Participants, volunteers, and staff should be encouraged to provide feedback, new ideas, and exchange information to enhance the program.

M. Recognition. Supervisors and coordinators are responsible for developing and implementing appropriate recognition events, activities, and awards that demonstrate appreciation for volunteer services. Recognitions having a fiscal impact must be processed following guidance from the Assistant Director of Administrative Services.

N. Expense Reimbursement. Supervisors must provide clear guidance to volunteers about rules and procedures for expense reimbursement. Depending upon the work assignment, volunteers may be reimbursed for approved expenses incurred during the performance of their duties. Examples of reimbursable expenses may include bus fare or mileage from the work place to official places of DCC business and return, parking fees, and other minor work-related expenses incurred during the hours of service.

O. Drug Testing. Occasional and other volunteers except interns will be tested only on reasonable suspicion; interns will be drug tested in the same manner as employees; and all testing will be done as directed in the Drug-Free Workplace policy. The supervisor of an intern must provide the intern's name to the DCC Drug Testing Program Coordinator (DTPC). The DTPC will ensure intern drug tests are scheduled and conducted in the same manner as for employees.

P. Exemptions. Volunteers are exempt from all provisions of law relative to State employment, work hours, compensation, leave time, and employee benefits.

Q. Safety, Security, Confidentiality, or Other Concerns. When an employee has a concern about a volunteer regarding a security, confidentiality, or other issue, the concern should be brought to the attention of the volunteer's supervisor. Supervisors must act to stop or limit volunteer activity until concerns are addressed.

R. Suspending or Ending Volunteer Activity. The supervisor may suspend or end volunteer services without cause.

S. Suggestions. Volunteers are encouraged to submit suggestions for improving the volunteer program or other operations. Suggestions should be processed through the supervisory chain for review and response.

VI. ATTACHMENTS.

Attachment 1

Volunteer Rules

1. Volunteers must comply with applicable Department of Community Correction (DCC) policies and procedures.

2. No volunteer shall bring on to DCC property explosive devices, firearms or other weapons, ammunition, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, narcotics, or objects or materials of any kind which might be used to compromise the security and safety of the center or office. Any attempt to bring such contraband onto DCC property will result in loss of volunteer privileges and may result in criminal prosecution.

3. Volunteers must not participate in DCC activities or be on DCC property while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. Volunteers are subject to drug and alcohol testing based on reasonable suspicion.

4. Volunteers accept the reality that there are risks inherent with being in a Community Correction Center (CCC) or Probation/Parole Services office.

5. All persons and personal items on DCC property are subject to screening and may be searched as specified by DCC policy. Vehicles on DCC property are subject to search. Volunteers are requested to leave purses and unnecessary objects in the trunk of their vehicle to reduce the need for searching and to preclude theft.

6. Volunteers must provide sufficient information for review of criminal history and background. Any person may be denied access to DCC property if security, order, and discipline may be compromised.

7. Volunteers must possess, and present on demand, adequate identification such as agency identification, driver's license or other picture ID., when entering DCC facilities.

8. All volunteers entering a CCC are required to sign in and out or use an electronic key card if issued.

9. All volunteers must be appropriately dressed. No miniskirts/short dresses, shorts, halter tops, see through or other provocative clothing will be allowed. Shoulders must be covered at all times.

10. Volunteers may be instructed by their supervisor about areas where it is acceptable or not acceptable to go within a CCC.

11. Volunteers shall not accept or exchange material (i.e. notes, correspondence, money, food, or gifts) with a resident except as authorized by the Center Supervisor or designee. All such items are considered contraband and may be confiscated by staff.

12. Tobacco products are not permitted within the perimeter fence of a CCC and smoking is not permitted within any DCC facility.

13. Volunteers must conduct themselves in an exemplary manner at all times. Improper conduct may result in suspension of volunteer status.

14. Volunteers should work within their job duties and follow supervisory guidance. Volunteers are expected to follow all DCC policy and rules which would reasonably be considered applicable.

15. Volunteers must keep offender information confidential both inside and outside the department.

16. Volunteers shall not commit the DCC to any financial obligations.

AR 7.27 Form 1 Volunteer Application

AR 7.27 Form 1a

AR 7.27 Form 1b

AR 7.27 Form 2

Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability

AR 7.27 Form 3

Orientation for Volunteers

(6/12/2003)

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