Decisions For Living (DFL) tutors work one-to-one with inmates in the Bucks County Correctional Facilities, teaching a process that emphasizes self-awareness, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and goal setting. DFL provides inmates with tools to help them reintegrate more effectively into the community upon release.
• Training: A 10-hour classroom training, plus supplemental video training, and a tour of the Bucks County Correctional Facility. The training provides tutors with an overview of the DFL course, methods of effective tutoring, and the responsibilities you have as a Vita volunteer. After training, tutors are individually interviewed. The tutor’s availability and personal interests are used to place a tutor with a client.
• Requirements: Tutors must be at least 21 years of age. Bucks County Corrections regulations require that tutors have a Criminal Background Check demonstrating no criminal justice system involvement in the last two years. Vita asks that our tutors commit to a minimum of two hours of tutoring per week for a six to eight week period of time.
• Support: The Decisions For Living Facilitator’s Manual is provided in the training to guide you in teaching the course. Tutor-client matches are supervised and supported by Vita’s Curriculum and Training Specialist.
Do I need any special qualifications to tutor?
There are no special qualifications; people with diverse backgrounds have successfully tutored DFL clients. The most successful tutors are willing to communicate non-judgementally, follow jail rules, and use the Vita curriculum provided.
Where does the tutoring happen?
At the Bucks County Correctional Facility (1730 S. Easton Road, Doylestown) and the Men’s and Women’s Community Correctional Centers (1270 Almshouse Road, Doylestown).
When does tutoring take place?
Volunteers will schedule a convenient time to meet their client each week.
Tutoring hours are Monday-Friday 8:30-11:30 am, 1:30-4:30 pm, and 6:30-8:30 pm.
How long is a volunteer match?
Most tutors allow approximately two hours with their client one time per week for 6-8 weeks total.
Is it safe?
Clients are screened by the facility and only those considered appropriate are allowed to be matched with a tutor. The meeting rooms are not on the modules (living areas) and are monitored by jail staff. No Vita volunteer has gotten hurt while tutoring.
Learn about the experiences Vita’s volunteer tutors have had working with clients.