Training is required for volunteers in the Visitor and Letter Writing projects. No commitment is required to attend a training – all are welcome to attend and then decide about participation.
- All those deciding after training to be visitors must complete a background check and volunteer application forms with the program coordinator at the visit location.
- All volunteers must sign and adhere to the CWF boundaries and ethics statement.
- Visitors must complete all required orientation by jail staff and comply with jail rules for the visitation program at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the visit program operate?
- CWF visits people detained in the Freeborn County Adult Detention Center (Albert Lea, MN) and the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center (St. Paul, MN). In Minnesota, ICE also detains people in Sherburne and Carver county jails, but CWF does not currently have visit programs at those sites.
I’m interested in participating but I do not practice any religion. Can I visit or write letters?
- Absolutely. There is no faith requirement for visitors or to be visited. All visitors are to respect the faith (or no faith) of those they visit.
I only speak English. Can I still visit?
- Yes. CWF visits with people from around the world. Visitors who speak Spanish, Somali, and other languages are needed, but there is always an English-language conversation.
Visiting and letter-writing isn’t for me, but I still want to help. What can I do?
- Consider joining the Circle of Compassion, which holds in thought and prayer individuals in detention (always with their permission).
- Help CWF provide Safe Release to people in the first hours after leaving detention by providing backpacks with essential personal items and gift cards so they can reach their post-release destination with safety and dignity.
- Support CWF financially so we can provide small grants to people who have less than $10 in their commissary accounts and, depending on the detention center, send books to people in detention.