Bay Area Volunteers Needed

Volunteers going into jail or prison have to pass a screening process. The information here on volunteer opportunities is sorted by county since that is the structure under which many organizations offer their services. See other organizations in each county under Resources. The HelpingOut team is looking for more organizations in San Francisco Bay Area with volunteer opportunities that benefit the incarcerated, ex-inmates, and their communities. Please send suggestions to: helpingout dot bayarea at gmail dot com.

Contents

How Can I Help?

Most inmates welcome programs like those listed below, and also:

  • In-person visits (particularly by those home, or home culture) – requires Sheriff’s office clearance 
  • Fund deposits to inmate’s account in the commissary system, to buy stamps and small comforts – through the Sheriff’s office 
  • Packages of food or personal care items, delivered through programs like iCare and CarePack and Securepak. Each facility contracts with one delivery service.
  • Letters

Volunteers Needed Here

California-wide – including Bay Area

  • Friends Outside – Friends Outside offers opportunities throughout the state for volunteers and interns. If you are interested in serving those impacted by incarceration, send email or contact us via phone.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page
  • Insight Garden Program – IGP facilitates an innovative curriculum combined with vocational gardening and landscaping training so that people in prison can reconnect. If you’re interested in volunteering at San Quentin State Prison, California State Prison (Solano), California Medical Facility (Solano), California Health Care Facility (Stockton), or Folsom Women’s Facility, complete the web form.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page

Alameda County

  • Juvenile and Inmate Library Services – (JAILS) by Alameda County Library and California Library Literacy Services: Tutors – We provide our students with tangible reading and writing skills that can be utilized both in preparing for release, and immediately after release into the community. Start With a Story – Volunteers read stories to children, ages 0-8 years, who visit the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, and the Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page
  • The Prisoners Literature Project – is based in Berkeley, California, and we’re always looking for volunteers to help answer letters, send out books, learn more about the prison system, and assist in other ways.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page
  • Root & Rebound – Volunteers are an important part of our community. Our work simply could not happen without their support. We are looking for —lawyers, students, graphic designers, coders, filmmakers, activists, educators—to join our team and help us pursue our mission, based in Oakland.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page

Contra Costa County

  • Bay Area Chaplains – Provide comprehensive pastoral ministry to all the inmates of the Martinez, Marsh Creek, and West County Detention Facilities. Provide other services to residents, staff, public officials, and the community that will enhance the overall ministry, based in Richmond.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page

Marin County

  • Insight Prison Project – IPP invites you to become part of the Insight Prison Project family, and join us in our work to transform the lives of those impacted by incarceration. Volunteers play an essential role in supporting the work we do at Insight Prison Project. Working in a variety of areas, volunteers aid our staff in data entry, research, committee participation, fundraising, event planning, facilitating classes, and special projects. Based in San Quentin. See also California-wide Insight Garden Program.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page
  • Maranatha Christian Center – Prison and Jail Ministry – MCC’s Jail & Prison Ministry is a team of men and women gathered by God for the purpose of sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ to incarcerated men, women & children. Contact any of the Jail & Prison Ministry coordinators at MCC. San Quentin State Prison: Sign up in October. Unfortunately, the annual sign-up only occurs in October.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page
  • Prison University Project – The Prison University Project uses a student-centered, culturally-responsive model of teaching. Volunteer faculty are placed as instructors and tutors during our spring, summer, and fall terms and commit to 5-10 hours per week to their class for the duration of the semester. All volunteers should be comfortable with extensive communication with co-instructors and staff and should be open to exploring new teaching techniques, based in San Quentin.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page

San Francisco (City and County)

  • Grace Cathedral’s Jail Ministry – a cooperative venture that draws volunteers from several Episcopal churches and beyond. We help the women and men in the San Francisco County jail system connect with God and themselves, their families and loved ones, and with each other. It is a ministry of presence, hospitality and respect. All volunteers serve once or twice a month in a jail.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page

Santa Clara County

  • Art & Spirit Ministry – The Art & Spirit Prison Ministry began in 2011 with a vision and a handful of volunteers from Campbell United Methodist Church and has now expanded to volunteers from other churches. This program provides opportunities for inmates in Santa Clara County jails to connect with their Spirit through the creative arts. There is always a need for more help to serve our brothers and sisters in jail. CIC Ministry training and clearance are required.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page.
  • Maranatha Christian Center – Prison and Jail Ministry – MCC’s Jail & Prison Ministry is a team of men and women gathered by God for the purpose of sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ to incarcerated men, women & children. Contact any of the Jail & Prison Ministry coordinators at MCC. Santa Clara County Facilities (in San Jose, Milpitas): Juvenile Hall, James Ranch, Women’s Residential Center, Elmwood Jail. CIC Ministry training and clearance are required.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page
  • Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy – CIC Ministries trains teams of volunteers to conduct Bible studies, group classes, worship services, and one-on-one pastoral counseling inside county jails. Join more than 300 volunteers of many faiths from across the Bay Area who volunteer in jail, based in Milpitas and San Jose.
    Go to Their Volunteer Web Page

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: