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Worship Team Policies and Procedures

All of the guidelines constructed for our Worship Teams are designed to maintain the integrity of the program and ensure safety and security within the jail facilities and among our volunteers.  A signed copy of this agreement, a successful background check, and a completed and signed TJM/HCSO Waiver, Release and Indemnification Agreement--for each person on the team--must be on file with TJM before a Worship Team member can participate in the Worship Team ministry. 

  1. To enter the secure areas of a jail facility, a Worship Team member must be at least 18 years of age. No one may enter a secure area of a jail facility if he/she has been incarcerated anywhere within the previous 12 months.

  2. All Worship Team (WT) members must sign a waiver for a background check to be conduced by the Sheriff's office of the corresponding county.  The Sheriff's office will review all applications and determine a person's viability to participate in the Worship Team Ministry. 

  3. Each Worship Team will receive at least one identification badge.  This badge is the property of the corresponding county's Sheriff's office and may be revoked at any time by either the Sheriff or TJM.  Worship Team badges expire 2 years from the date of the successfully completed background check.  A complete set of paperwork must be submitted to TJM, and the background check approved, for Worship Team badges to be renewed.  Each WT will create a list of "approved team members" and that list is maintained on the Sheriff's intranet.  There must be at least one badged member present with each WT to ensure access.  Team members who do not have a badge must present a picture ID at the jail facility to verify identiy.

  4. Worship Teams may consist of any number of people.  However, the number of team members who can enter a jail facility for worship is limited.  [For example, four team members may be on a unit at River City Correctional Facility; six members on any unit at the Hamilton County Justice Center.]  For a list of facilities and specific requirements, click here

  5. No one may go to a unit where a family member is incarcerated.  If someone goes to a unit and discovers that a family member is housed there, he/she must leave immediately. ["Family member" includes extended relatives: cousins, aunts, uncles, step relatives, etc.]

  6. Member of a Worship Team must be at their assigned location no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled worship time.  Teams that are late may be refused entrance.  Teams should be leaving the unit one hour later.

  7. All team members must be courteous at all times. There are times when Corrections Personnel may ask the team to do something without explanation.  Worship Teams must comply with all directions set forth by Corrections Personnel.

  8. Worship Teams should take as little as possible into a jail facility.  Purses and bags should be left in the trunk of the car. Nothing can be transported in or out for an incarcerated individual.

    • Acceptable items - Religious materials are generally acceptable, provided there is no metal or sharp edges present.  Books and Bibles may be taken into the facility for your use only and then must be taken back out with you.
    • Unacceptable items -- Cameras, cell phones, iPods or other electronics, weapons (including pocketknives and small penknives)

  9. Worship Teams may not make phone calls on behalf of any incarcerated individual.

  10. All members of a Worship Team must adhere to the dress code.  A general guideline is: modest, conservative business attire or business casual clothing.  Any clothing that could be interpreted as gang identification should be avoided.  Good hygiene is expected. More specifically:
    • No shorts of any type are permitted.
    • Dresses, shirts or blouses may not be sleeveless, midriff-bearing or tight-fitting.
    • Pants/shirts must be free of holes.
    • No exposed cleavage.
    • No jeans of any color.
    • No baseball hats, scarves or Du Rags

  11. It is the Worship Team Leader's responsibility to notify Transforming Jail Ministries if they will be unable to provide worship on an assigned day.  If this occurs on the assigned morning, the team leader should notify the facility to which they are assigned as soon as possible.

  12. Worship Teams must review and update their rosters once each year, as requested.
  13. Federal law prohibits the disclosure of the identity of any person held in a jail/treatment facility.  Any Chaplain or Worship Team member who discloses the identity of any inmate in a jail/treatment facility in which that individual serves through TJM to anyone outside of the facility without the inmate's written consent shall be immediately terminated as a Chaplain/Worship Team member and shall in addition be personally liable for any and all penalties, fines, or damages which may result from such disclosure.
  14. A Worship Team or individual member may be denied access to the jail facilities temporarily or permanently at the discretion of the Sheriff, Corrections personnel or Transforming Jail Ministries.

For how to apply to be a Worship Team, click here.