There’s promising evidence around the peer-mentoring potential to reduce recidivism and increase sociable behaviour.
The concepts of mentoring and peer-mentoring, when applied in correctional systems, are relatively new in many jurisdictions.
Mentoring is characterized by an interaction between two individuals over an extended period of time; with them showing inequality of experience, knowledge, or power – with the mentor possessing the greater share the mentee (recipient) is in a position to imitate and benefit from the knowledge, skill, ability, or experience of the mentor; it comprises the absence of the role inequality that typifies other helping relationships and is marked by professional training, certification, or predetermined status differences (Tolan et al., 2008).
On the other hand, a peer-mentor implies the same sense as mentor except the status difference, as mentor and mentee usually belong to the same age range or same background.
There are several studies that provide promising evidence of the potential for mentoring to reduce recidivism and increase sociable characteristics; some of the effects include:
- positive effects on intermediate outcomes, such as mental health, which may in turn have a positive effect on outcomes such as recidivism;
- improvements in mentee attitude and behaviour;
- improvements in interpersonal relationships and integration into the community;
- some reductions in recidivism;
- some improvements in academic achievement and integration into education and training.
With the MOMIE (Models of Mentoring for Inclusion and Employment) project we have undoubtedly sharpened our roll-out competence regarding this area of expertise and operation.