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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Sheriff's Office
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Page updated Jun 11, 2014 11:30 AM

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Volunteer at the Sheriff's Office

Volunteers are essential to the life of the Sheriff’s Office. Many rehabilitative programs offered to inmates are conceived or delivered by volunteers. In short, our volunteers are at the heart of Detention Center programming. 

Regardless of your skills, your interest in being a volunteer with the Sheriff’s Office is much appreciated. To become a volunteer, you must complete a volunteer application and submit it to the Detention Center’s Volunteer/Programs Coordinator. In addition to your written application, you will be interviewed by the Volunteer/Programs Coordinator, undergo a background check, which includes a criminal history records check; and participate in a one-day orientation class. 

Working directly with the inmates population can be a challenging task. Volunteers need patience, maturity, and commitment, and must comport to high standards of character and integrity. In addition, Sheriff’s Office volunteers must meet the following qualifications:

Sheriff Lawhorne and volunteer3 
Sheriff Lawhorne and volunteer 
  • Be a United States citizen or documented alien
  • Have no incarcerations or arrests within the past 12 months
  • Have no outstanding criminal charges or warrants
  • Have no previous incarcerations at the Alexandria Detention Center for the past three (3) years
  • Have no conflict or negative association with a current Detention Center inmate (for volunteering in the Detention Center)
  • Must disclose all pertinent information requested, and be truthful and give complete information
  • Have no continued pattern of violent or assaultive behavior evidenced by convictions and/or release from incarceration within the past five (5) years for three or more violent criminal offenses
  • Have no conviction of or release from incarceration within the last ten years for institutional escape involving violence or force
  • Not be under current supervision by any criminal justice agency
  • Have no issues or concerns which may call into question their suitability as a volunteer

Should I be concerned about my personal safety?
Security is the first and foremost consideration of every action taken, or decision made, in the Detention Center. Procedures have been established to ensure the safety of all who enter the Detention Center. One of those procedures precludes hostages being used to negotiate an inmate’s release.

What kind of volunteer opportunities exist?
Volunteers are offered a variety of options: working directly with inmates in the Detention Center itself, or in the areas of administration, e.g., typing, filing and bookkeeping. Volunteers are especially needed in these areas: Education, Recreation (aerobics teachers, etc.), Arts and Crafts, Life Skills, Special One-time Leisure Programs (guitarists, guest speakers, etc.), Support Services (consulting, inventory, accounting, etc.)

If I am unable to volunteer, how else may I help?
In addition to your time, materials are also needed to facilitate programs. The Detention Center is pleased to receive donations of any of the following items:

  • New or used books for the library (softbound only)
  • Pocket dictionaries (softbound only)
  • Stationery items, pens or pencils
  • Rubik's Cubes or similar puzzles
  • Board games, Scrabble, Dominos, Tri-Ominoes
  • Art & crafts supplies (colored pencils, pastel crayons, drawing paper)

Some items are excluded from the Center for security reasons. Please consult with the Volunteer Coordinator before donating any items not specifically mentioned above.

Serve on the Correctional Services Advisory Board   

For further information about becoming a volunteer or joining the Correctional Services Advisory Board, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 703.746.5022.

2003 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.746.5033

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Detention Center:
24 Hours