Mentoring Toolkit: Resources for Developing Programs for Incarcerated Youth

Research has demonstrated that adolescents with at least one high-quality supportive relationship with an adult are twice as likely as other youth to be economically self-sufficient, have healthy family and social relationships, and be productively involved in their communities (Gambone, Klem, & Connell, 2002). Unfortunately, at-risk youth and youthful offenders often have limited contact with positive adult role models with whom they can form and sustain meaningful relationships (Jones-Brown & Henriques, 1997). Mentoring programs can provide the opportunity for these young people to establish supportive relationships with positive adult role models (Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Program, 2000). The Mentoring Toolkit: Resources for Developing Programs for Incarcerated Youth provides information, program descriptions, and links to important resources that can assist juvenile detention facilities and other organizations to design effective mentoring programs for neglected and delinquent youth, particularly those who are incarcerated.

The Mentoring Toolkit is organized as follows:

Section 1. Mentoring: A Promising Intervention Strategy. This section contains a review of the literature on effective mentoring strategies. Information on the limited body of knowledge available on programs designed specifically for incarcerated youth is included.

Section 2. Characteristics of Juvenile Offenders. This section describes the learning, social–emotional, and behavioral characteristics of youth residing in juvenile facilities.

Section 3. Designing Effective Mentoring Programs for Neglected and Delinquent Youth. This section explores the challenges that should be considered and the major benefits of establishing mentoring programs for these youth. It also describes the critical elements that should be included in juvenile justice mentoring.

Section 4. Tools for Developing Mentoring Programs. This section presents links to specific tools and resources that can be used by program developers to design and implement effective programs and to minimize the duplication of this information in this document.

Section 5. Program Overviews. This section contains brief descriptions of selected mentoring programs currently being implemented in juvenile facilities, as well as case studies of several existing programs that serve delinquent youth.

Two versions of the Toolkit are available. The unabridged version is the complete Toolkit with comprehensive information, resources, and links. The abridged version provides a general overview of the major areas of content presented in the unabridged Toolkit. Both the abridged and unabridged versions of the Mentoring Toolkit are organized in the same manner to help locate further information.

The Mentoring Toolkit Resources for Developing Programs for Incarcerated Youth

Resource Date

September 2006