Virginia Alcoholics Anonymous District 16 Intergroup
Serving Alcoholics Anonymous in South Central Virginia

AA Service Work in Corrections

Correctional Facilities Committee
Help Carry the A.A. Message of Hope to Our Fellow Alcoholics Behind the Walls

Please join us in carrying the A.A. message to the inmate behind the walls. Our committee is a vital link to prisons and jails, providing professionals and other workers in these facilities with information about AA, literature, and guidelines for setting up A.A. groups on the inside. Fifty percent of inmates may be alcoholics, and we may be the only opportunity they have to hear the A.A. message.

The guiding principles of the A.A. Fellowship are contained in the Twelve Traditions. Traditions Five, Six, Eleven and Twelve are directly related to our work. Singleness of purpose is central to the survival of AA. Inmates faced with no programs to address problems other than alcohol (i.e., drugs, gambling, etc.) often find their way to A.A. meetings. A.A. members not wishing to exclude such individuals from meetings can do so only with a firm understanding of AA's singleness of purpose. Being not affiliated with any other institutions, we seek only to cooperate and help coordinate with correctional facilities personnel. A.A. is not a secret society, and we carry the message to whomever we can. A.A. members who carry the message into correctional facilities have found it helpful to remember and to emphasize to corrections personnel that A.A. is a fellowship of peers, and that A.A. members learn to help other alcoholics without taking credit or reward for our own or others' recovery. These ideas reflect guidance given through the Twelve Traditions and the General Service Conference (U.S. & Canada) in the "Correctional Facilities WORKBOOK" 1995.

Tools and Ideas for Doing Correctional Facilities work:

  One (1) year of continuous sobriety to chair a meeting.
  Six (6) months of continuous sobriety to speak at a meeting.
  No minimum length of sobriety to attend a meeting with a committee member.
  Be on time, well groomed and courteous.

Remember that having once been an inmate is not a requirement.

Some committee member activities include:

  Some members choose to sponsor an individual in a facility through the mail.
  Serve as a contact for persons recently released from a facility.
  Commitments are individual commitments not necessarily group commitments in this area due to clearance policies of most institutions.
  Working with other Correctional Facilities Committees to improve communication within the state and regional area.