Porter County Sheriff's Department


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What's Happening at The Porter County Sheriff's Department

 

Volunteers for Visitation

Tremendous Savings' In New Inmate Visitation Plan

Porter County Sheriff seeks volunteers

nwitimes.com

 

A new volunteer program at the Porter County Sheriff's Department is expected to benefit the department and the community it serves.

"Now we have jailers monitoring visitation, but we would like to move that to a volunteer system," says Porter County Sheriff David Lain. "The savings, to the county will be tremendous."

Jailers used to have to move inmates securely to the visitation area, where more jailers were needed to monitor both inmates and visitors. Now, no longer do visitors meet face-to-face with inmates. Visitors are signed in and seated at one of 40 visiting stations with video monitors connected to a monitor in the inmate's cell block. "At present we're paying a jail officer to oversee this area," says Lain and that's just not necessary. "I speak to people all the time who want to volunteer, and this is a great opportunity." Lain emphasizes the visitation area is public and that all visits are via monitors; no inmates are present, "so it's completely safe."

"We're doing this to make our operation more efficient, to save money, and to give people the opportunity to do volunteer work. And we can re-assign jail personnel to take Lain says "it's a relatively easy task." A volunteer sits at a desk behind a window. Visitors come to the window, where the volunteer checks their names against a list, signs them in, then assigns them to a booth with a monitor and makes the computer connection with the inmate inside the jail. All inmates remain in their cell blocks. Volunteers need to be available at least 4 hours a week. Visitation hours are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; no visitation on legal holidays.

Volunteers need to be at least 21 years old, pass a criminal background check, have no felony convictions, and have neither family nor acquaintances incarcerated at the time of their volunteering. "There is no danger involved and volunteers are a phone call away from jail administration if they have a question," says Lain.

"This is going to be a great opportunity for seniors, and for people with disabilities," says Lain. The facility is ADA-accessible. Volunteers will need just a very basic knowledge of computers; "It's a very simple program." All volunteers will be supervised by jail administration. People wanting to volunteer can pick up an application at the Porter County Sheriff's Department, or an online application available at the Web site.

 

Porter County Sheriff's Department is seeking volunteers to check-in visitors to video visitation at the Porter County Jail.

Jail Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, be able to pass a background check, have no relatives or associates incarcerated while serving as a volunteer, and have the ability to operate a simple computer program.

The visitation area is ADA accessible. Jail visitation hours are

Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm and Monday through Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:00pm,

excluding legal holidays.

Volunteers should be available to work at least 4 hours during the week.

Duties include signing in visitors to the jail lobby area, assigning them to a video visitation booth,

and linking the visitation video screen with the inmates' screen via computer.

The volunteers will also monitor the visitation room and maintain decorum.

There is NO interaction with inmates.

All visitation take place in a public area.

 

Applicants can apply using the application link below or in person at the

Sheriff's Department during business hours (8am to 4Pm).

Direct any questions to Assistant Warden Ron Gaydos at 219-477-3000

 

Visitation Volunteer Application

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