Outside Sponsor (OS)
Welcome to the Area 53 Correctional Facilities Committee.
Thank you for your willingness to service as an Outside Sponsor. We strongly encourage that you attend the quarterly CFC meetings, as all Outside Sponsors are members of this committee. We have found that we best carry the message into institutions when we take advantage of the shared experience of others.
Area 53 CFC supports and provides literature to AA members who wish to start meetings in correctional facilities. For guidelines on starting a meeting, please refer to the Corrections Workbook.
Many Outside Sponsors have relied on Area 53 CFC to facilitate cooperation with correctional facility administrators. Over the years, the AREA 53 CFC Liaison has been instrumental in opening the line of communication and fostering understanding between Alcoholics Anonymous and the facility.
The individual Outside Sponsor is making a commitment to the correctional facility to help carry the message of AA inside the walls. The member should make a sincere effort to attend all meetings. Each facility has the right to specify their own guidelines as they pertain to meeting format, length of sobriety to enter the facility, appropriate attire, etc. We must cooperate with the facility officials and see to it that our conduct is such that AA will always be welcome in their institution. A few general guidelines include:
We carry nothing in or out of the facility.
All individuals visiting the facility must be approved in advance by that facility.
Remember to identify yourself as an alcoholic.
We must always be mindful of principles before personalities. Keeping this in mind, we do not give inmates our personal information, but rather refer all communication to Area 53 CFC, PO Box 1201, Columbus, OH 43216·
Former inmates must be off parole and probation prior to serving as an Outside Sponsor (some facilities have additional requirements)
When entering the facility, we must be respectful in our attire, never wearing tank tops, short, flip flops, or other revealing clothing.
In general, it is recommended that men help men, and women help women. However, if a male intends to enter a women’s facility they must be accompanied by a female or vice-versa.
If you are interested in becoming an Outside Sponsor, please email your contact information and the facility you wish to serve to email@example.com. Literature requests may also be sent to this email address, or you can create and send a request by clicking below:
If you are currently an Outside Sponsor, please provide the Pre-Release sign-up form to AA’s on the inside. The inmate should mail the completed form into the PO Box at least a month in advance of their release date.
AA members on the inside may also write the PO Box if they are interested in participating in the correspondence program. This program is for inmates who are six months or more from their release date. We appreciate your help as an Outside Sponsor in announcing both the Correspondence and Pre-Release programs to inmates at your meetings.
Below are additional resources for carrying the message to alcoholics inside the walls.