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MISSION: Provide a continuum of preventative, rehabilitative, residential, and transition programs for juvenile offenders which hold them accountable for their crimes, protect the public, reduce repetitive criminal behavior and transforms lives.
"It Takes a Village"
The current vision for the JJ&RA mentoring program is for it to expand the involvement of community groups and to attract more one-to-one mentors from within these community groups. The spirit of the program is to connect youth with positive role models who can help them change their life’s trajectory.
In the One-to-One model new mentors are expected to make a one year commitment, complete a mandatory initial training and a thorough background check. Mentors are then matched with youth who are six to eight months from their release from a correctional institution. Mentors are matched with youth before they are released into the community so that the mentor and youth have time to develop a strong foundation for a positive relationship. The mentor is expected to have contact with the youth at least once a month while the youth is at the correctional institution either in-person or via Skype and to call or write weekly.
Once a youth is released from a correctional institution, the mentor is expected to have contact with his/her youth once a week. Mentors work with their youth to help him/her make the difficult transition from an institutional setting back to a community setting. A mentor acts as a guide for the youth as he/she navigates through relationships with family, peers, school, work, and parole.
The mentors are asked to set goals with their youth. A large part of the mentor training focuses on goal setting with a young person. Youth set goals in the areas of education, vocation, life skills, and recreation. Mentors are also asked to set goals for themselves, as well. The mentor and youth are able to hold each other accountable for their goals. This helps make the relationship a two way street with both parties being able to hold the other accountable for his/her individual goals.
One of the keys to the success of any mentor program is the amount of support each mentor receives therefore mentors should receive regular interaction with mentoring program staff.
- Chad Kline
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