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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Prison Volunteer Survey Indicates Overall Satisfaction and Potential for Expanded Roles, Report No. 13-08, April 2013
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  • The Florida Department of Corrections uses volunteers to provide activities in its institutions throughout the state. Our survey of Florida prison volunteers found that their average age was 62 and many were retired. Most respondents volunteered regularly and primarily provided religious activities. They were motivated by their faith and saw several benefits from their volunteer activities. In addition, most volunteers were satisfied with their prison volunteering experience and felt appreciated by inmates. Volunteers cited negative feelings about inmates or prisons as a barrier that may prevent others from volunteering. Also, some volunteers reported lengthy wait times and inconsistent procedures when entering facilities and meeting with inmates.
  • While volunteers currently provide inmate activities in programmatic areas such as education and life skills, the department could increase the use of volunteers in these programs and activities, which help prepare inmates for release. Other states facilitate volunteer services for these areas in several ways, including working with retired teachers, targeting recruitment efforts through department websites, and designating a statewide office of community partnerships.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Department of Corrections
Inmate Programs

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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