The Polk County Jail provides a variety of classes and programs
to inmates. Volunteer opportunities range from one on one
counseling to group educational services. The Jail is able to offer
a variety of programs for the inmates to participate in because of
the dedicated volunteers and agency
facilitators. Volunteer applications are accepted at any
Persons with an interest in facilitating the Tobacco Education,
Cage Your Rage and Stress Management Programs, working in
our library or vounteering with any other program or
service are encouraged to submit an application.
Jail Volunteer Application
There are meetings scheduled each week that are facilitated
by volunteer representatives from local Alcoholics Anonymous
(English and Spanish) and Narcotics Anonymous
The Jail works with many agencies in the community who donate
their staff time to provide educational groups to the
Lutheran Services of Iowa facilitates the Parenting Program at
MECCA Services facilitates the Gambles Education groups that are
Polk County Health Department has taken an active role in
facilitating the Health Education program at the jail.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa facilitates a health
related program called Strong Bodies, Proud Lives.
Primary Health Care Homeless Outreach staff come to the jail
weekly to talk with any inmate who requests their services.
Des Moines Area Community College provides
these programs:English As A Second Language, General
Equivalency Diploma and General Life Skills. The jail
is a GED test site, and inmates can complete their five GED tests
at the jail and receive their GED while in custody.
Des Moines Public Schools provides a teacher who meets with
any student who is 20 years old or younger, to
work towards their High School Diploma.
Prison Health Services is the contracted medical agency at the
jail and they provide the Substance Abuse Education
An Introduction to Small Business Program was started by a
successful local business leader who had a vision to teach inmates
about running their own business.
The jail also has an Inmate Release Handbook, clothing closet on
site and a bus token program to assist any indigent inmate upon
The Chaplain's Office headed by Jerry VanCleave provides for the
religious materials, counseling and studies at the jail. The
Chaplain's Office coordinates requests for inmate pastoral visits
which are provided through video visitation terminals.
For more information on Polk County Jail Ministries or how to
volunteer, visit here: Polk
County Jail Ministry