Memo of Understanding (link to file)

INSTITUTIONAL MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING                            

  • Note: Kairos is a prison ministry that is designed to be delivered in any maximum or medium-security prison in the country without any change in format or substantive change in procedure.  It is operating very successfully in prisons across the nation and internationally with long-term, stable populations ranging from federal to state institutions, from men’s prisons to women’s prisons to coed prisons (though the short course in Christianity which launches the ministry is never presented as a coed experience).  The following stipulations are basic to this ministry and have been approved by the Department of Corrections.  The senior Chaplain of the institution is encouraged to attend a similar 3½-Day short course in Christianity such as Emmaus, Cursillo, Tres Dias, or Via de Cristo before the Kairos Ministry is launched in the institution.
  • Kairos will be allowed to conduct a minimum of one, and a maximum of three, 3½-Day short course programs in the host institution annually.  A separate event at a separate time could be held at a different unit within the same institution. As a part of one institution, each of these could have up to two short Weekend events annually
  • The fewest number of volunteers needed to conduct a short course is approximately twenty volunteers (three tables).  Where conditions at the institution permit and sufficient staffing allows the warden may authorize up to forty-five volunteers (Inside Team) for the short Weekend. Teams of volunteers for classes of up to 42 residents will conduct the short course Weekend. The Inside Team will be allowed time on Thursday to set-up and the introduction of the residents will begin at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Thursday and the program will continue through 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Residents attending the Weekend will be released to the Chaplain by 8:00 a.m. each morning (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and permitted to remain with the Kairos Team until at least 7:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6:00 p.m. Sunday.  Thursday hours will be approximately 4:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
  • A single event, consisting of a 6-7 hour block of time called an Instructional Reunion, will be conducted within two weeks after each short course or as soon as the reunion can be appropriately accommodated in the institutional schedule.  It will be open to those residents who attended the short course immediately preceding it.  A team of no more than 25 volunteers will be admitted to hold the Reunion.  The volunteers will be selected out of the original group mentioned in #3, above.
  • A 1-Day Residents Retreat will be allowed approximately three months after each Weekend, running 8:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Saturday. Where conditions at the institution permit and sufficient staffing allows, the warden may authorize two days for this renewal event.
  • A team ratio of one volunteer for every five residents present, plus two other volunteers, will be allowed for the retreat.  The team will be drawn from the original group mentioned in #3 above.  Only residents in the institution who have completed a Kairos short course will be permitted to attend.  Scheduling and the number of residents allowed to participate are limited by time, staff, and space availability within the overall structure of the Religious Program Schedule of Activities.
  • All residents who have attended a Weekend and their Guests within the institution will be permitted to attend a 2-3 hour Kairos Monthly Reunion in the institution.  The total number of non-Kairos Graduates at a Monthly Reunion should be less than ½ of the Kairos Graduates attending.  That Reunion day and time would remain the same each month.  Residents who have attended a Kairos Weekend will be permitted to meet on a weekly basis with the permission and under the direct supervision of either an approved regular volunteer or a staff Chaplain.  Scheduling of all Kairos meetings and events may be limited by time, staff, and space availability within the overall structure of the Religious Program Schedule of Activities.
  • An outside volunteer (non-badged) group of at least 30 persons is permitted to support the ministry by attending the Closing of a Kairos short course. Where conditions at the institution permit and sufficient staffing allows, the warden may authorize up to 50 citizen volunteers to attend the Closing service.  This group is in addition to the volunteers approved for the entire Weekend. These are to be held on Sunday afternoon beginning at approximately 3:00 p.m. and end at 6:00 p.m.  A group of cleared (badged) volunteers of similar size are permitted to attend the monthly Kairos Reunions.
  • All residents attending the short course will be allowed to receive one written letter in an envelope from each Kairos team member and people of the supporting community containing expressions of prayer and spiritual support.  These letters will be made available for a security inspection no later than the Saturday of the scheduled Weekend.  These letters become the property of the resident Participants and as such are subject to resident property rules and procedures.  Additionally, the team may bring in general letters that are not specifically addressed to individual residents from various outside Christian communities, large felt banners, and paper posters indicating Christ’s love and support from Christian communities and individuals around the world. It will consist only of written expressions.  This material will be channeled through a team member or members who will be responsible for its contents and distribution. These general letters of encouragement are for display only and will not become the personal property of any resident. The banners, general letters, outside posters, and posters prepared by the residents during the Weekend course will be removed from the institution premises by the Kairos team at the conclusion of the Weekend.
  • The Kairos team will submit a list of all volunteers participating in the Weekend at least 30 days in advance.  The volunteer list may be limited to as few as 60 where there are limiting conditions such as time, space or staffing limitations.  The institution will notify Kairos of any volunteers not cleared, or any other change, 10 days prior to the scheduled event.  The Chaplain at the institution will provide Kairos a list of residents participating in the 3 ½ day Weekend and 10 alternates.  This list will be provided no later than ten days prior to the scheduled Weekend.  The Chaplain at the institution will notify Kairos as soon as possible of any changes relating to the residents scheduled to participate.  The Chaplain at the institution will also provide Kairos the participating resident’s Department of Corrections number, work assignment, age, and dormitory assignment.  This information will be used to facilitate seating and the solicitation of prayer support.
  • The team will be permitted to bring in food items, materials, and beverages as approved by the institution and listed on an approved list such as the one found in the Kairos Institutional Memorandum. The team will be allowed to prepare outside food or bring in commercially prepared food and snacks and to eat with the residents who are participating in the Kairos Weekend at meal times established by the institution. Where security permits, Participants may take cookies to their dorm and the team may distribute cookies to the institutional staff. The volunteer meals will be paid for by the members of the Kairos team except where funding is specifically designated to cover the cost of volunteer meals.
  • All food items must be packaged in such a manner that it may be easily searched for contraband by security staff. All packaging must be approved in advance by security staff.
  • The Kairos Weekend Leader, with the approval of the Chaplain, may invite residents who have completed a Kairos Weekend to serve as table or kitchen servers on Kairos Weekends and Retreats.
  • Residents will not be allowed to take any items away from a Kairos activity without prior approval of the Chaplain, Warden, or Warden’s designee. Kairos will not bring anything into or out of the institution without approval from the Chaplain, Warden, or Warden’s designee.
  • The Chaplain will cooperate with Kairos for the selection of Participants for a Kairos short course. The Chaplain, with input from the Correctional Security Staff, and other staff as needed, shall prepare a list of residents for participation in the Kairos Weekend.  It is suggested that the Chaplain use the criteria in the Prison Impact Plan for residents with leadership potential. Kairos believes our ministry works best when the Participants include the negative resident leaders.
  • Kairos team members and Guests commit themselves to the support of the Chaplain as the chief pastor of the institution and agree to conduct themselves in conformance with the Department of Correction’s security regulations and Kairos guidelines for volunteers entering correctional institutions. Kairos volunteers will be prompt in their obedience to the directions and requests of correctional officers and staff members, keeping always in mind the fact that our first obligation to the institution is the security of the residents and institutional professionals. We agree to perform the work of this ministry as detailed in the Kairos manuals and as set forth by the policies established by the Kairos Prison Ministry International Board of Directors. While Kairos will certainly support the Chaplain as the chief pastor of the institution, it is agreed that Kairos will be permitted to operate its program pursuant to its Kairos Inside program manual.
  • In order to aid and support the Kairos program, the Department of Corrections will cooperate, where possible, with Kairos with statistical data concerning recidivism of those residents who have participated in Kairos and the annual resident adjustment rate within the institution beginning with the year(s) preceding introduction of the Kairos program.  Kairos and the Department of Corrections may use this information to measure the impact of the program on the institution.  This information shall be coordinated through the Department of Corrections Central Office and will be supplied in response to specific requests and as approved by institutional regulations.
  • The Kairos team will be permitted to take one Weekend group picture of all participants including residents and volunteers.  Appropriate media release forms will be collected from all residents who are in the picture.  Kairos Prison Ministry may provide each resident with a copy of this picture.
  • This memorandum is NOT intended to be a contract. This simply provides general guidelines that will permit the ministry to operate effectively within the institution. As with any program, Kairos operates best when it operates in cooperation with the institution and with each party treating the other with mutual respect and due regard for our common goals.