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.
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.
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.
We have a wide variety of opportunities for volunteers within the Elkhart County Jail:
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.
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.
The jail has a 10,000 book library! Cataloguing, shelving and distributing books provides volunteers with many opportunities to serve.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ONLY items you are allowed to bring with you as a volunteer in the jail are:
NO. Volunteers are not permitted to give any items or materials to inmates. Doing so is considered Trafficking and is a prosecutable offense.
NO. Volunteers are not permitted to receive any items or materials from inmates. Doing so is considered Trafficking and is a prosecutable offense.
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.