Volunteer

Becoming a volunteer at the Elkhart County Jail gives you the ability to participate in the many programs, classes and small groups that meet on a regular basis inside the county jail. 

Getting started is simple; attend one of the monthly Volunteer Orientation classes and complete a background check form, which allows the Sheriff’s Department to run a background check on all volunteers prior to approval. During the one-hour class you will learn important safety and security procedures. You'll find a list of scheduled classes to the right or below on this page.

Once approved, you can join in with your church ministry inside the jail, or contact the Chaplain, who will plug you into a ministry that best fits your schedule and your gifts.

All Denominations are Welcome

But remember, we’re here to recruit for the Kingdom, not for a specific denomination. We ask our volunteers to focus on the essentials of the Christian faith and not the doctrinal issues that divide us as believers.

Volunteer Hours

Volunteers are welcome to visit with inmates at the jail seven days a week from 9:30-11:00 am; 1:30-3:00 pm; and 6:30-9:00 pm.


Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering:

What ministry opportunities are available at the Elkhart County Jail?

We have a wide variety of opportunities for volunteers within the Elkhart County Jail:

Tutor an Inmate

The jail offers GED classes for inmates who never graduated from high school. There is always a need for personal tutors to assist inmates through their course work.

Mentor & Disciple an Inmate

Many inmates request to have a mentor assigned to them who will meet with them regularly to help them navigate through life and their journey with God.

Help Out in the Library

The jail has a 10,000 book library! Cataloguing, shelving and distributing books provides volunteers with many opportunities to serve.

Join a Bible Study

Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the many ongoing Bible Studies and programs the Elkhart County Jail Ministry has to offer. Group leaders welcome fresh volunteer faces in their classes!

Children’s Ministry

If you have a heart for children, we have a need for volunteers who will ‘babysit’ children in the lobby of the jail while their parents and/or guardians are visiting with incarcerated loved ones.

Give Someone a Ride Home

Many inmates have no transportation home after being released from jail. Our transportation volunteers have the exciting opportunity to tangibly show the love of Christ one last time by offering rides to inmate who have no transportation home.

Join Services & Holiday Events

Joining inmates for Sunday church services is a great way to begin to build relationships. You can also bless them by helping to distribute Easter cards and sing Christmas carols during the holidays.

How do I get involved in the ministry after I am approved to be a volunteer?

Once you are an approved volunteer, you can join in with your church if they have an existing ministry inside the jail, or contact Chaplain Martin who will plug you into a ministry that fits your schedule and your gifts.

What can I bring with me when I visit the jail?

The ONLY items you are allowed to bring with you as a volunteer in the jail are:

  1. One piece of paper
  2. Bible
  3. Car or locker keys
  4. Photo ID

Am I allowed to give letters, books, Bibles or other items to inmates during my visit?

NO. Volunteers are not permitted to give any items or materials to inmates. Doing so is considered Trafficking and is a prosecutable offense.

Am I allowed to take items from inmates to bring home with me or to deliver to someone on their behalf?

NO. Volunteers are not permitted to receive any items or materials from inmates. Doing so is considered Trafficking and is a prosecutable offense.

Can I visit anyone I want to once I am a registered volunteer?

No. As a volunteer you are not permitted to visit face to face with a relative, an inmate of the opposite sex or inmates who are in a Segregation Ward.