Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $496,801)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System) provides funding to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a juvenile justice agency. The focus is to provide mentoring services to those youth screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency as part of an overall diversion approach with a goal of rehabilitation and accountability. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.
The Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL), in partnership with Be A Mentor, proposes to incorporate mentoring into RPALs diversion program to reduce delinquent behaviors and redirect youth away from formal processing in the juvenile justice system. The program will target 40 youth per year or 120 youth over a 3-year period who are status offenders (i.e., truancy, running away from home, violating curfew, underage use of alcohol or vaping, and general ungovernability). It will also focus on youth referred for delinquent behavior, or youth who have been previously adjudicated and have not been either labeled or jaded by involvement in the juvenile justice system. RPALs emphasis will be on boys and young men of color, who constitute 70 percent of the population referred to the diversion program and identified as most in need of mentoring services. The diversion program will be integrated with key mentoring and best practice principles: (1) youth development framework, principles, and practices; (2) mentoring that occurs in conjunction with evidence- and strength-based programs; (3) duration of mentoring of at least 1 year; (4) one-on-one mentoring, group, and e-model designs; and (5) providing screening, training, and ongoing support of mentors. In addition, the design will include enhancements that will fill gaps in the research on the effectiveness of mentoring for boys and young men of color, familial engagement, and building positive relationships with law enforcement personnel. Through this grant, mentees will improve their academic performance, build developmental assets, avoid gang involvement and activity, and build life-long community networks that can support them throughout their transition from adolescence to adulthood. RPAL will measure the program outcomes through several evaluation methods: reports cards; pre- and post-assessments; informal interviews with mentors, mentees, parents/guardians, and teachers; and reports derived through the Mentoring Management System (a data tool for documenting programming and outputs and outcomes, and for producing evaluation reports). No funds will be used to conduct research for this project. CA/NCF