Remember to bookmark this page for future reference!
- Are you interested in or new to Corrections? Start Here!
- Are you a new Corrections Committee Member or Chair?
- Correctional Facilities in Western Washington
- Corrections Bridge Program
- Corrections Literature Program
- Corrections Correspondence Service
- Area 72 Corrections Committee Contacts / Service Positions
- Upcoming Corrections Events
- Literature and Videos on A.A. Corrections
Welcome to the Western Washington Area 72 Corrections Committee webpage. A central resource for all of your corrections needs, including corrections information, literature and contacts. We hope after reading the information you will be ready to start your journey in what many of us have found is an extremely rewarding form of 12th Step work. Here is a quick summary of what corrections servants do:
AA members carry the A.A. message to the alcoholic in a Correctional Facility who wants to live sober, one day at a time. Our members do this service work as part of maintaining their own sobriety and to give individuals who are confined an opportunity to find sobriety. Through a Corrections Committee working with corrections personnel, alcoholics are reached who might never otherwise find the A.A. program. [Source : Oregon Area 58 Correction Committee]
Our Corrections Committee assists in carrying the A.A. message to those confined in facilities in a variety of ways, including:
- Take in-person and/or virtual A.A. meetings or panels into correctional facilities;
- Provide correctional facilities and corrections professionals with A.A. literature;
- Encourage participation in the Corrections Correspondence Program (see below for more information and link);
- Help those A.A. members who are about to be released to immediately connect with A.A. in the outside community. See our section on the Corrections Bridge Program below;
- Work with the other committees, such as Cooperation with the Professional Community and Public Information, to help inform corrections professionals about resources A.A. provides to those who are in custody;
- Provide information and support services to our A.A. members involved in A.A. Corrections;
- Connect you with A.A. members currently taking meetings and literature into facilities; and
- Keep everyone informed on corrections activity throughout Western Washington through our Area Corrections Quarterly meetings, workshops, Corrections Workbook Study and other events and speaking engagements.
Are you interested in or new to corrections work? Start Here!
First, welcome to A.A. corrections service. We hope this page helps provide you with all the information you need to begin your corrections service journey. We recommend watching the corrections video “Carrying the Message Behind These Walls” provided by A.A.’s General Service Office (GSO) first. Next, read the information on this page and link to the pamphlets. After that you may have questions. Our committee members are here to help and would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to any of them by email to answer any questions you may have or to be connected to the A.A. members in your community already involved in corrections service work. For more information review our Corrections Volunteer Registration section where you can also register to request additional information, be included on our committee emails, or speak with a committee member.
Are you a new Corrections Committee Member or Chair?
There are a variety of resources for new committee chairs. Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of your rotation as a District or Intergroup Corrections Chair or Committee Member:
- Fill out the Area 72 District Trusted Servant Update form & submit.
- Contact AA’s General Service Office and let them know you are a new Corrections Chair and ask for a Corrections Kit, they will send it to you free of charge to help you in your service position. It contains all the pamphlets, literature and videos you will need. You can reach by email at email@example.com or online at: https://www.aa.org/information-for-new-trusted-servants
- Contact your Area Corrections Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you are the new District Corrections Chair for your District. The chair will help you with accessing your area72aa.org email and notify you of upcoming corrections events such as:
- the Area’s Corrections Quarterlies held every third Saturday in March, June, September and December
- information on the National Corrections Conference and the weekly International (US and Canada) corrections call.
- They are also a great resource for suggestions on how to approach and access correctional facilities in your District, who the AA facility liaisons are and key AA members in your district for additional information.
- Review the Area Corrections Committee webpages as they provide access to the literature, videos, website links to all the corrections information you will need.
- Order your A.A. Corrections Kit online at: https://onlineliterature.aa.org/Corrections-Kit
Correctional Facilities in Western Washington
Click [here : note - under development] for a list of the correctional facilities in Western Washington Area 72 and the District or Intergroup Corrections Committee contact for that facility.
Corrections Bridge Program
The Corrections Bridge Program (also known as the Corrections Prerelease Program) connects the A.A. member being released from a correctional facility with A.A. members in the community they are being released to. Past experience has shown that attending an A.A. meeting on the outside on the day of release from prison is one of the most effective tools for a person in custody in making a sober transition and maintaining continued sobriety in the free world. It is strongly recommended that an A.A. member being released have an A.A. contact on the outside (preferably with at least one year’s sobriety and of the same sex) who contacts the inmate and arranges to meet him or her on the day of release to help in “Bridging the Gap” between the institution and A.A. on the outside. (AA Corrections Workbook Page 35)
Area 72’s Corrections Bridge Program does just this. Through the distribution of our Corrections Bridge Program flyer to A.A. members in custody within Area 72, the person in custody is able to notify our Bridge Coordinator about their release date and location they are being released to. Our Bridge Coordinator then connects them with the district corrections chair or DCM for that location to ensure that member is immediately connected to the A.A. community they are be released to.
In addition, bridge requests also come in from the General Service Office from persons in custody being released into Area 72. Our Bridge Coordinator then arranges for the District Corrections Chair in the destination District to contact the person in custody and arrange to get them to A.A. meetings in that district. It is suggested that the District Corrections Chair facilitate getting the newly released member to at least 3-6 meetings within the District. Let the local fellowship do the rest.
For more information contact our Bridge Coordinator at email@example.com.
A.A.W.S. Corrections Prerelease pamphlet – Outside Members [Flyer Link]
A.A.W.S. Corrections Prerelease pamphlet – Inside Members [Flyer Link]
Corrections Literature Program
Alcoholics confined in correctional facilities usually have just one A.A. meeting a week available to them if they are lucky. A sizable number are on waiting lists and go to none at all. But, there’s another way to carry the message to these people: provide them with meetings in print through A.A.’s Big Book, pamphlets and the Grapevine. The only stumbling block is money.
How are local corrections committees funded? How do they accumulate literature for inside meetings? These questions have become a frequent refrain at all levels of service, including the General Service Office, where more than 90% of the letters that cross the Corrections desk contain requests for free literature. In the spirit of A.A.’s Seventh Tradition, the search is on for financing approaches that make practical as well as spiritual sense. [A.A. Corrections Workbook Page 18]
Throughout Area 72, A.A. Literature is delivered to correctional facilities through a variety of resources. For example, the Area 72 Correction Committee is allotted an annual budget just for A.A. literature and Grapevine subscriptions for correctional facilities. In addition, most intergroups and many districts within Area 72 collect contributions from A.A. members through "pink can" funds, as A.A. members fondly refer to them, the collection of which is typically handled by the Intergroup or District Corrections Chair or committee. These funds are accessible by contacting the local intergroup or district corrections chair and making an inquiry or request. Corrections literature is an important part of the corrections committee work and, along with active meetings in correctional facilities, is a main discussion topic at Area 72’s Corrections Committee Quarterlies.
To inquire on requesting a literature order for a correctional facility you service or attend regularly, contact our Corrections Literature Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corrections Correspondence Service
From A.A. Corrections Workbook Page 44:
The Corrections Correspondence Service has been one of the most productive ways for individual A.A. members to carry the message to inmates who are confined. The G.S.O. staff member on the Corrections assignment receives approximately 35 letters a day from inmates who wish to receive A.A. literature, A.A. contacts, interim sponsorship, and correspondence with A.A.s on the outside.
It is difficult for an A.A. member behind the walls to participate in ongoing individual sharing about the A.A. program of recovery, particularly in large prisons. The Corrections Correspondence Service allows inmates to correspond with outside A.A.s on an individual basis.
Several thousand A.A. members active in local groups are currently writing to inmates. G.S.O. sends the name and address of the inmate who wants correspondence to the outside A.A. member. The outside A.A. member then makes the first contact. Some outside A.A. members use a home group post office box number for correspondence. Some A.A. groups are A.A. contacts for many inmates.
It is suggested that men correspond with men, and women with women. Sometimes, correspondence is the only opportunity an inmate has to share experience, strength and hope with another A.A. An inmate might be in protective custody or solitary confinement and cannot attend regular meetings; other inmate A.A.s could be on a facility waiting list to attend A.A. meetings inside.
The 1993 Conference Correctional Facilities Committee discussed this service at great length and agreed it is an important one. However, they recognized the difficulty G.S.O. has in obtaining “outside” A.A.s to correspond with inmates and agreed that perhaps it is now time for areas to become more involved in this Twelfth Step work. Corrections committee members might remember to encourage A.A. groups and members to participate in this service. Any A.A. member who would like to carry the message in this way can download a sign-up form from our Web site or they can contact the Corrections Assignment Desk, P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163, or email@example.com.
If you would like to share your experience, strength and hope with A.A.s who are confined, please mail the Corrections Correspondence Form to G.S.O.’s Corrections Desk, or email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. (You can also access the form on the Corrections Committee page at aa.org) The name of an inmate, selected at random from a geographic region different from your own, will be sent to you from the General Service Office and you will make the initial contact through the mail.
Those who have participated in this service have found sharing with inmates a very gratifying form of Twelfth Step work. We are happy to know there are A.A. members like you willing to help make it possible for the A.A. message to be carried to those on the “inside.” [source: aa.org]
- Area 72 Corrections Quarterlies - 3rd Saturday, March, June, September, December
- National Corrections Conference - Every November, location changes every year.
- International Corrections Meeting - Weekly Online, Contact the meeting secretary at email@example.com to get on the mailing list.
Literature and Videos on A.A. Corrections
In page viewing and printing a single copy of these items is permitted in accordance with the A.A. World Services, Inc. content use policy.
- AA in Correctional Facilities
- Carrying the Message Into Correctional Facilities
- It Sure Beats Sitting in a Cell
- Behind the Walls: A message fo hope (Memo to an Inmate who May Be an Alcoholic)
- A Message to Corrections Professionals...
- How A.A. Members Cooperate with Professionals
- A.A. Guidelines on Corrections Committees
- Many Paths to Spirituality
- The AA Corrections Workbook
- The Correctional Facilities A.A. Group Handbook
- Sharing from Behind the Walls – Quarterly newsletter from the A.A. Corrections desk
- Recommended Videos at AA.org.
G.S.O. and Local Corrections Committee Webpages:
- General Service Office Corrections Committees:
- Greater Seattle Intergroup Corrections:
- Eastside Intergroup Corrections:
- Pierce County Intergroup Corrections:
- Sno-King Intergroup:
- Vancouver Intergroup Corrections:
Guidelines and Registration for Corrections Volunteers
Welcome to our Corrections Committee Volunteer Registration section. Please review the following information and if interested, click the link to the registration page below and a member of the corrections committee will be in contact with you.
If you desire to participate in this rewarding 12th Step service work, we suggest you read the pamphlets AA in Correctional Facilities and Carrying the Message Into Correctional Facilities. AA members bring meetings or panels into correctional facilities to carry the message of recovery.
Volunteers may need to attend a facility orientation to understand that facility rules and regulations. We are guests of each facility and are expected to know and abide by their rules and regulations. We are expected to live up to certain standards we have set for ourselves – some of which are expressed on the Do’s and Don’ts. Please read them. You will be expected to act accordingly.
Washington State Department of Corrections General Requirements
Each facility may have different requirements. The following are some general guidelines:
- Sobriety requirements - typically at least 1 to 2 years continuous sobriety
- Age: 21 years minimum
- Off Paper [no pending parole or probation] for certain period of years
- Period of years since last violation
- Volunteers must submit to a background check
- Each facility may have its own background check requirements
- Attendance at an orientation at that facility.
- COVID: Masking and proof of vaccination may be required
DO'S & DONT'S
- Do – Have a valid Photo ID
- Do – Check dress code rules
- Do – Keep your commitment, on time
- Do – Share your experience strength and hope
- Don’t – Use profane or vulgar language
- Don’t – Take anything in or out
- Don’t – Give personal information to Inmates
- Don’t – Talk about outside issues or drunk-a-log
- Don’t – Promise jobs or aid of any kind