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Mentoring is an essential component of reentry programs for adults. It provides a personal relationship founded on trust and respect, which can help ex-offenders set goals, create a plan to reach those goals, establish and talk through fears and concerns for re-entering society, build a trusted relationship, and receive guidance on attaining additional resources . Mentoring can also help reduce anxiety about reentry, provide an example of how to live according to Christ’s teachings, and help the prisoner set constructive goals for the future.

The impact of mentoring for adults returning to their community from incarceration is dependent on how well reentry programs structure the mentoring component of the program, which involves collaborating with correctional facilities, thoughtfully selecting and matching mentors and participants, and effectively concluding the mentoring relationship. An integral part of the process also involves the understanding that mentoring should serve as a supplement to services that address other critical reentry needs, such as housing, health care, substance use treatment, and employment.

Despite growing interest and investment in mentoring as a component of reentry, there is only a small body of research to support the value of mentoring services in reducing recidivism among criminal justice populations . The research related to adult reentry mentoring that does exist rarely addresses participants’ criminogenic risk levels and other factors that are known to be important in recidivism-reduction strategies. In the absence of research, reentry programs and corrections agencies are looking for guidance on how mentoring and correctional evidence-based practices (EBPs) can be integrated. (AI generated)


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