Many male and female NA members behind the walls are asking for sponsors. Through the Carolina Region’s Sponsorship Behind the Walls Project, you can help some of these incarcerated recovering addicts work the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous by writing letters back and forth. Your contact information will be kept completely confidential because your sponsee will send his/her letters to a PO Box, and then the letter will be forwarded to you. This process will require commitment on your part, but may end up becoming one of the most rewarding things you have done for your recovery.
- 2 years clean time
- Actively participating in the NA fellowship with a sponsor
- Has worked steps 1-5 in writing with a sponsor
- Understanding of and commitment to follow the CR-SBTW guidelines
Interested in volunteering
We are an NA step writing sponsorship project operating under the Hospitals and Institutions
Subcommittee of the Carolina Region of Narcotics Anonymous. This may well be one of the most
rewarding things you do for your recovery. The primary purpose of this project is to provide
Sponsorship, through written Narcotics Anonymous step guidance, for any incarcerated addict desiring
recovery within Narcotics Anonymous. It is our purpose to provide Sponsors who are willing to
correspond with any inmate who has the desire to work the Steps. It is our hope, that in our
correspondence, we will help the suffering addict find the solution that we have found. In observance
of the of the Correctional Facilities rules regarding mail and correspondence, the following is suggested
guidelines from shared experience to help you when writing NA members on the “Inside”:
- Potential Sponsors must have at least two years clean, actively participating in the NA Fellowship with
a Sponsor, have worked through the first five steps in writing with a sponsor, have the endorsement of
their area RCM or H&I chair, and the approval of their understanding of these guidelines by the CRNA
- In keeping with Tradition Twelve, we respect the anonymity of our correspondents. All
correspondence will be sent through a Post Office Box, with an H&I subcommittee volunteer forwarding
mail to other members, who are participating in the “NA Sponsorship Behind the Walls” program. No
personal contact either in person or by phone is permitted. All correspondence should be received
through the Hospitals and Institutions Subcommittee. Never give out your address or phone number.
For your own protection and anonymity, always use a pen pal name. If your first name is part of that
pen name, NEVER use your whole name.
- When we engage in this type of service, it should always be men writing to men and women writing
to women. Please refer to the following Narcotics Anonymous recovery and service literature that
strongly support this suggestion. H&I Service Bulletin #5 Men working with Men, Women working with
Women; Hospitals & Institutions Handbook Page 7; IP #11 Sponsorship Revised and the PR Handbook
Page 112.Never write anything you don’t want the world to read. All correspondence is opened and
subject to monitoring by the institution.
- Correctional Facilities have rules for sending literature. Most Correctional Facilities only allow inmates
to receive literature directly from the publisher, you should always check with a facility before mailing
books or literature. Photocopies of literature (no staples) included in your correspondence is usually
accepted by the institution
- If an inmate requests an NA book or booklet from you, the Hospitals and Institutions Subcommittee of
the Carolina Region of Narcotics Anonymous will send an Introductory Guide to Narcotics Anonymous
and potentially additional literature (Basic Text, SWG, IWHW) to the inmate upon your request if the
- NA members who are writing and/or Sponsoring an inmate should not visit that facility.
- Remember, it only takes two addicts to have a meeting and writing is no different. Let the inmate
know, that all forms of sharing whether in a meeting and/or writing, helps us as much as it helps them.
Remind the inmate that they are never alone. We simply share our experience, strength, hope and being
clean in recovery. Change happens as a result of working/applying the principles behind the 12 steps of
recovery. We encourage you to be a step‐writing guide through that process.
- Encourage the inmate to participate in twelve step meetings available to them within the facility.
- Prior to their release, we strongly suggest sending them an area/regional meeting schedule in the
vicinity where they will be released. It is important to have a “game plan” and general knowledge of
meeting places the first day they are released. Your relationship with this addict will come to an end
upon release, and you should encourage them to find a homegroup and find a sponsor with which to
continue their recovery.
In addition to and in alignment with the guidelines above, Volunteer Sponsors specifically agree to:
- Communicate with sponsees in writing ONLY, responding to their letters within two (2) weeks.
- Utilize the CRNA Sponsorship Behind the Walls Project Mailing Address ONLY, as provided below.
- Respect the confidentiality of my sponsee.
- Refrain from using abusive or profane language in all of my correspondence.
- Maintain my focus on recovery through working the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous.
- Refrain from providing sponsee with personal details; phone number, address, email address.
- Refrain from face to face meetings, visiting sponsee or arranging any meetings upon release.
- Refrain from supplying sponsee materials; such as envelopes, stamps, pre‐stamped envelopes,
writing paper, writing implements, books, tapes or any other items.
- Refrain from contacting anyone or relaying messages to anyone my sponsee might request.
- Refrain from compromising the 12 Traditions f Narcotics Anonymous or any facility guidelines.
- Refrain from commenting on any matter that might jeopardize the safety and security of the facility,
staff, facility residents, outside members or anyone else. We have NO Opinion on outside issues.
- Certify that I have not been a victim of, or an accomplice of, a crime with any potential sponsee.
Reasons for removal from program as a Sponsor :
- Loss of Abstinence
- Non‐fulfillment of Duties, (i.e. ‐ not returning sponsee letters within the two (2) week
- Providing personal information or relaying messages, packages or letters to anyone.
- Arranging any meetings with Sponsee upon their release from custody.
- Disregarding any of the 12 specific agreements listed in these guidelines and the
Sponsorship Participation Request Form
To Volunteer to be a Behind the Walls Step Sponsor fill out this form
Requesting A Sponsor
The primary purpose of this project is to provide sponsorship through written Narcotics Anonymous step guidance to ANY incarcerated addict desiring recovery within Narcotics Anonymous.
How it Works
Project has set up some guidelines so that we can try to assure that, though your circumstances make it necessary for us to choose your step guide for you, you will still receive guidance from someone who will help you grow in NA. All of the potential step guides have shared with this committee their commitment to their NA based recovery. They work all their steps in writing and have completed at least the first five with an NA sponsor. They have a minimum of 2 years clean and attend NA step meetings regularly. We assure you that your step guide will be of the same gender and will have no prior knowledge or acquaintance with you prior to your incarceration.
Mail is collected from our PO Box once a week. After step guides have received their letters, a reply will be sent within 2 weeks. During the process of assigning a step guide to you, your very first letter was read anonymously, but all future correspondence will be strictly confidential between you and your step guide. It is important that you understand, though, that every letter between you and your step guide will be subject to prison rules regarding review of mail and that the prison will be notified of your involvement with the Carolina Region’s Sponsorship Project. Contact with your step guide will be limited to writing only and cannot include requests for photos, drawings, pictures, messages to others, phone calls, rides, visits or any damaging personal information. We are bound by the 12 Traditions of NA and the rules of the prison.
You need to know that if you have any questions or concerns about your relationship with your step guide or your needs for step guidance are not being met, you can write to the Carolina Region’s Hospitals and Institutions Subcommittee, at 5594‐C Sunset Blvd. #137 Lexington, SC 29072 and let them know. There are times when the relationship with the person we choose to guide us through the steps doesn’t work or stops working. Addicts on the outside have the option of choosing someone else, and you have options as well. Although you will not be able to choose the new step writing guide, you can request that we provide you a different individual to guide you through the steps. In order to protect your step guide’s anonymity, step guides will be using “pen names”. By using “pen names” we hope to avoid any problems which might impede the message of recovery.
To request a Step Guide fill out this form
Carolina Region Sponsorship Behind the Walls Project
CRSBTW 520 Folly Road Ste. 25 PMB 269 Charleston, SC 29412