Visitors and Volunteers having access to the Tuscaloosa County Jail should understand that the Jail is a secure facility and therefore, their visit will be subject to full compliance with the rules, regulations, and procedures of the Jail facility when admitted inside. By affixing my signature at the end of this document I am stating that I fully understand the rules and regulations explained herein, have asked any questions or clarifications from appropriate Jail staff where needed, and will abide by said rules and procedures where appropriate.
Safety Guidelines and Contraband Control:
- All volunteers must show a valid driver’s license or other acceptable photo ID and be cleared at the front desk before entering the Jail.
- The control of contraband is one of the most important areas of jail security. As a broad definition, contraband can be defined as “anything in possession of a person that is contrary to the rules and regulations of the institution.” IF YOU DON’T NEED IT, DON’T BRING IT IN! To define it more specifically, no person shall introduce any of the following into the facility:
- Any beverages or food items.
- Tobacco products, lighters, or matches.
- Any prescription or non-prescription drug(s).
- Any instrument that may be used as an aide in attempting to escape.
- Any firearm or instrument that can be used as a weapon.
- Any other articles, instruments, or substances specifically prohibited by the jail.
- Any item for an inmate for personal, religious, or physical use that is not issued by the facility.
- Do not give any literature to the inmate unless cleared in advance by the Corrections Staff.
- The Jail allows volunteers to bring in a personal Bible and car keys. Pencils will be provided by the Jail if needed.
- Wallets, purses, briefcases, etc. are not allowed. We allow volunteers to carry their things in a clear plastic tote bag or zip-lock bag.
- Volunteers cannot bring computers, tablets, sound equipment, musical instruments, or any type of electronic devices into the Jail without prior approval by authorized Jail personnel. Cell phones are never allowed under any circumstances.
- All volunteers go through a security check when they enter the Jail. Generally, these security checks will be similar to those that you would see at an airport.
- Do not take anything into or out of the Jail without permission. Every person is subject to search at any time while on Jail property.
- If a volunteer is found with contraband, he/she may be disallowed from entering the Jail ever again. (Contraband is defined as any item not permitted into the Jail or not on the clearance list.) Further, in extreme cases, violations of these rules could result in referrals for criminal charges.
- The Tuscaloosa County Jail has a strict dress code. Before you arrive at the Jail be sure you are dressed appropriately; otherwise, you will not be allowed to enter.
- Tight or revealing clothing is not allowed. NO sleeveless shirts/tops, bare midriffs, tank tops, short skirts or short pants, low necklines, see-through fabrics, open-toed/open-heeled shoes, or flip flops.
- No clothing or attire with offensive slogans is ever allowed. We also do not allow any clothing with any type of logo or slogan. Any attire that may be considered gang-related is not allowed.
- Avoid excessive makeup, heavy perfumes, or any type of clothing that draws undue attention.
While you are inside
- Visitor restroom facilities are usually provided in the Jail entry area. Ask a Jail staff person about restrooms and water fountains that may be available near the area where you are going inside the Jail.
- Volunteers are escorted along corridors, through gates and buildings.
- Volunteers are allowed only in areas where their event or program is being held.
- Stay with your group and do not go anywhere else.
- In case of an emergency, volunteers should alert the nearest detention officer, or contact the jail central control by pressing the silver intercom button on the call box next to the door.
Communications with inmates rules
- Maintain a clinical/professional distance with inmates. Know your own boundaries and maintain your personal space.
- NO volunteer shall solicit or accept a gift from an inmate or any person acting on behalf of an inmate.
- Volunteers shall not give an inmate money or have money put on an inmate’s account.
- Respect inmate privacy, confidentiality of records and privileged information.
- Volunteers will not provide legal advice to inmates.
- There shall be NO communication with inmates outside the official, supervised visit facilitated by the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
- Prohibited communications include written, verbal, telephone, electronic or social media communications.
- Volunteers may not facilitate communications between individuals or residents in custody or parolees/probationers under supervision of any correctional jurisdiction.
- Volunteers shall not reveal their address, phone numbers, email address, social media, or other confidential personal or family information to inmates.
- Volunteers may not knowingly convey to an inmate any information of a confidential or restricted nature; i.e. intended for staff use only.
- Volunteers who have a family member, friend, former boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, etc., that is in jail should inform the Program Director or Sergeant on duty immediately. The volunteer will not be allowed to work at the jail while the person is incarcerated.
Undue familiarity with inmates and their families is not permitted by a volunteer. Undue familiarity includes touching or conduct that is likely to result in intimacy or close personal association. There shall be NO hugging between inmates and volunteers. Volunteers and inmates may shake hands, and that is all the contact that should be made. Volunteers shall not permit inmates or their families to become unduly familiar with them. Sexual contact, misconduct, or indecent behavior with inmates or their families is prohibited and subject to criminal prosecution.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY - THIS MAY EFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
In exchange for the participation as a ministry volunteer at the TUSCALOOSA COUNTY JAIL, I agree for myself to the following:
- I agree to observe and obey all rules and warnings, and further agree to follow any oral instructions or direction given by the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Staff.
- I recognize that there are certain inherent risks associated with working and volunteering in the Jail. I assume full responsibility for personal injury to myself and further release and discharge the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Tuscaloosa County for injury, loss or damage arising out of my participation as a volunteer minister and presence in the facility, whether caused by the fault of myself or other third party.
- I agree to indemnify and defend the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Tuscaloosa County against all claims, causes of actions, damages, judgment costs or expenses, including attorney fees and other litigation costs, which may in any way arise from my participation as a ministry volunteer in the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
I have read this document and understand it. I further understand that by signing this release, I voluntarily surrender certain legal rights.
Signature of Applicant: _________________________________________________________
Printed Name of Applicant: __________________________Date_______________________
This information will be kept confidential. All persons are subject to investigation / background check. This information is a means of projecting as well as allowing us to maintain a secure environment for staff and inmates. Giving false information will result in immediate termination of your visits to the facility. The information afforded on this form will be updated annually in order to facilitate future access.