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We realize that when we try to put ourselves in the place of the inmate, we can better understand their specific needs and minister to them more effectively. Here are a few things to remember and think about before and while you are mentoring:

Inmates are afraid.

Everything involved in the incarceration of the individual has some level of trauma or fear associated with it. This is a crisis situation for all person involved; the victim(s) and perpetrator.

Incarceration does not equal rehabilitation.

While there are educational, employment, and treatment programs, the purpose of correctional institutions is not rehabilitation, but custody and public safety.

Mentoring is useful.

Mentoring has proven to be a mechanism that provides various prosocial benefits and should be presented along with other critical reentry needs, such as housing, health care, substance use treatment, or employment.

Mentoring is for you.

Aside from the obvious spiritual benefits, being a mentor helps you to become a better listener, strengthen leadership skills, gain new perspective, and enhance emotional intelligence. In short, mentoring is a win-win for all parties.

Mentoring programs can reduce recidivism by at least 10 percent.*

The mentor is an invaluable asset in the process of presenting the Gospel, among other things, because they can gather information about the person being mentored and assist them to better understand their problems and the scriptural principles which provide solutions.

*Annie E. Casey Foundation

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