Volunteering with (ex-)prisoners and their families

In Zaanstad the new “Justitiële Complex (JC) Zaanstad” has recently opened. The JC Zaanstad is a modern megacomplex, that holds both a jail and prison, as well as a department for pschychiatric delinquents.

The organizations Exodus Nederland and De Sluis want to form and train a network of volunteers that are willing to work with prisoners in the JC Zaanstad, but also with their families (spouses, children, parents) and with ex-offenders.

We are currently looking for people that want to voluntary work:

OUTSIDE THE PRISON

When prisoners are released it is most difficult to find a proper place in society. De Sluis wants to support ex-prisoners in building their new life. We focus on the specific needs of each ex-prisoner.

Some people like to be involved in a church community. De Sluis wants to help churches to open their social community to ex-prisoners.

Others do not wish to get involved with a church, but they prefer 1-on-1 contact with a buddy.

 

  1. Buddy care for ex-prisoners

The volunteer

  • Visits the prisoner that is soon to be released. It is good to get to know each other before the release date and to make a plan of action for the time after release.
  • Supports those that are released from prison when they cannot get help from professional institutions or caregivers
  • Focuses on individual needs and after-care
  • Helps “with his hands on his back”. For instance: accompanying ex-prisoners to institutions (such as UWV, social service, housing companies, etc.), helping in administrative tasks, motivating and stimulating independency and offering a listening ear. The volunteer can also involve in social activities with the ex-prisoner
  1. Buddy care for “left behind” family members

The volunteer

  • Visits the spouse and/or children of a prisoner
  • Supports those family members that cannot get help from professional institutions or caregivers
  • Focuses on individual needs and after-care
  • Helps “with his hands on his back”. For instance: accompanying ex-prisoners to institutions (such as UWV, social service, housing companies, etc.), helping in administrative tasks, motivating and stimulating independency and offering a listening ear. The volunteer can also involve in social activities with the family members.
  1. Churches that are open for ex-prisoners

When churches that want to open up to ex-prisoners we use the model of KEG (Kerken voor Ex-Gedetineerden) which is inspired by the “Caring for Ex-Offenders” program in London. More about this model on the last two pages of this booklet.

  1. Coordinators practical care

De Sluis needs several practical coordinators, such as:

  • Maintenance and updating of our website dsgdesluis.nl
  • Making our newsletter
  • Second hand clothing coordinator:
    • Collect second hand clothing for prisoners
    • Check wether the clothing is appropriate/clean
    • Wrap the clothing for delivery to the prison

 

INSIDE THE PRISON

  1. Visiting prisoners
    The volunteer visits a prisoner that has requested extra visits.

These requests are often made by foreigners that have little or no family members or friends in the Netherlands. We are looking for people that speak foreign languages such as English, Spanish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish and Russian.

  1. Volunteering in the prison church

Volunteers can help by

  • Supporting prison church services, for instance by preparing the church room, making coffee, welcoming the inmates and having short conversations after the church service.
  • Providing music during church service. A maximum of 8 musicians can sing songs or make music during both Protestant and Catholic church services.
  • Participating in small groups or other activities, such as special events for religious holidays.

All volunteers that want to be involved in the prison church are expected to be of the Christian Faith and able to see outside the walls of their own Christian denomination.

  1. Supporting parent-child contact

Several times a year we organize meetings where children can visit their parent in prison. We need several volunteers for this:

  • Supporting father&child. The volunteer:
    • Contributes to a feeling of safety by being present, positive and supporting fathers and children wherever they need
    • Helps in preparing and decorating the room
    • Hands out drinks and food items
  • Volunteering at the meetings for prisoners’ spouses. The volunteer:
    • Contributes to a feeling of safety by being present and positive
    • Helps in preparing the high tea items
    • Makes conversation with the women that are present
  • The volunteer:
    • Brings children to prison to visit their father when their mother is unable to attend.
    • Visits the family at home before the prison visit
    • Makes sure the child feels safe and has a good time

If you are interested in volunteering with (ex-)prisoners and their families, please contact us through info@dsgdesluis.nl or 06 – 4204 1309

 

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