The Behind the Walls Project

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    david t

    There appears to be some misunderstanding concerning the difference between the Florida Region’s Behind the Walls Workgroup and the local Area Service Committee’s (ASC) H&I Subcommittee’s Presentations, and we would like to take this opportunity to bring information to help in this matter.
    The Florida Region’s Fellowship Development Committee exists to serve the member ASCs, and we have been given the task to increase Narcotics Anonymous’ presence in the Florida Department of Correction’s (DOC) Facilities; hence the Behind the Walls Workgroup. One of the reasons this workgroup was formed was because the majority of Area Service Committees (ASC) in the Florida Region were having difficulties carrying the message into the prisons via the Hospitals and Institutions Subcommittees, and a large number of requests were coming into the Florida Regional Service Office for assistance.
    So, you might ask what the difference is, and who is responsible for what? The workgroup has put together suggested guidelines or procedures, letters, a suggested list of literature to send to the DOC Administration, and a presentation format to assist the local ASCs in helping carry the message to incarcerated members, while assisting them to start their own home groups. The workgroup’s task is just about completed, and the materials will be made available to all local ASCs to utilize in carrying out our primary purpose. A sustainability plan is being formulated to help in the transition from a work group to a project that any local area can easily use.
    Currently the Florida Region’s H&I Resource Coordinator is the single point of accountability between the Florida Region and the DOC as far as submitting the confidential information required for quick clearance with the DOC. The information required is the Full Name, Social Security number, Date of Birth, Gender, and Race being sent to the DOC, thus eliminating the need for submitting an application and having to wait for weeks or months on a determination. A determination can be made in roughly 48 to 72 hours.
    We cannot speak for any specific H&I Subcommittee, yet we cannot imagine any area refusing help from a neighboring area in carrying our message of hope and freedom to the still sick and suffering. This is in line with the proposed service structure we will be looking at over the next few years, and is how the Behind the Walls project is set up to work. Any member who has clearance is eligible to attend one of the meetings being held in Florida’s prisons, and is encouraged to do so. The Behind the Walls project has no geographical boundaries, and in the spirit of our 1st Tradition, we become unified in carrying the message.
    Each DOC facility has its own rules and regulations, so if a member is interested in possibly attending one meeting a month or every other month, they must notify the designated NA member for that facility to have their name submitted to the Warden to be placed on the Warden’s list of approved visitors. This could take a matter of time so please be patient and give at least a month in advance notice of your desire to attend.
    If there are any questions, ideas, or concerns please join us on the Florida Region website, under FDC, log in and join the H&I discussion group or submit an idea form for any ideas you may have for a workgroup, at:
    Dave T. Fellowship Development Leader for the Florida Region
    Gilbert O. H&I Resource Coordinator for the Florida Region of NA

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