Hospitals & Institutions Do’s and Dont’s

Hospitals and Institutions PDF Handout

click here to download a pdf of H & I Handout


Do follow the guidance found in the WSC H&I Handbook

The World Service Conference H&I Committee has compiled this list based upon the experiences of subcommittees around the world that have sent input on H&I service matters. They provide some very helpful guidelines, and should help you avoid some of the common pitfalls.

Correctional Facility Rules

  • Do Attempt to get all agreements in writing
  • Do Clarify the rules with whomever you bring into the facility
  • Do Adhere to the security regulations at all times
  • Do Arrive early to satisfy security requirements
  • Do Keep staff informed of your whereabouts
  • Do Obey the dress code, exercise common sense

Panel Leaders and Members

  • Do Screen all panel members, speakers, and chairperson(s)
  • Do Always clear a member who is on parole/probation with the facility and parole/probation officer
  • Do Adhere to clean time requirements of the correctional facility and of the H&I committee
  • Do Ensure that a clear NA message of recovery is carried by all panel members
  • Do Choose panel members and speakers according to H&I guidelines Literature
  • Do Provide NA literature for correctional facility meetings
  • Do Make directories of outside meetings available to the inmates
  • Do Use NA literature recommended for H&I work and stamp all literature with the local phoneline number
  • Do Provide facilities with literature order forms and encourage them to supply their own

NA literature Correctional Facility Meetings

  • Do Start and end on time
  • Do Explain briefly in the meeting format what H&I is
  • Do Clearly state that Narcotics Anonymous is separate from the correctional facility and from other fellowships
  • Do Emphasize that NA recovery is available to all addicts regardless of drug(s) used
  • Do Explain the language that we use (addict, clean, recovery, clean time) and why we use it (the First Step of NA, and the Sixth Tradition of NA)

Inmates Meeting Participation

  • Do Involve inmates with the meeting, especially those in long-term facilities (readings, etc.)
  • Do Emphasize the importance of attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting the first day out of the facility

Panel Leaders and Members

  • Don’t Allow a member who has outstanding warrants to participate in a correctional facility meeting
  • Don’t Bring any contraband items or weapons into the facility
  • Don’t Take messages or carry letters in or out of the correctional facility
  • Don’t Show favoritism to any inmates
  • Don’t Bring an NA member who has friends and/or family in the correctional facility
  • Don’t Wear flashy jewelry and don’t carry excessive cash
  • Don’t Use excessive profanity
  • Don’t Attend H&I facilities alone
  • Don’t Debate any issues involving the correctional facility’s rules, regulations, programs, and other
    fellowships with inmates and staff
  • Don’t Discuss conditions within the correctional facility
  • Don’t Discuss correctional facility staff members with inmate(s)
  • Don’t Discuss inmate(s) with correctional facility staff members
  • Don’t Sponsor inmate(s) in the correctional facility that you are attending as an H&I member
  • Don’t Accept money or gifts from, or give money or gifts to any inmate

Meeting Guidelines

  • Don’t Give anyone within the correctional facility your address or telephone number
  • Don’t Provide anyone with another NA member’s address or telephone number
  • Don’t Bring in anyone who is not supposed to be there (newcomers, friends, guests)
  • Don’t Ask what type of crime an inmate has been convicted of, or discuss guilt or innocence
  • Don’t Break another person’s anonymity
  • Don’t Emphasize ‘using days’ while sharing an NA message of recovery