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Mentoring Best Practices Research: Effectiveness of Juvenile Mentoring Programs on Recidivism

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2017
135 pages
The methodology and findings are presented for an outcome and process evaluation of mentoring agencies across both urban and rural counties in Ohio, with attention to their impact on the recidivism of youth on probation or parole.
In addition, the evaluation examined whether the impact of mentoring services differed based on youth characteristics or the quality of the mentoring program. The outcome evaluation used a quasi-experimental design with two separate samples. The parole sample was composed of either youth on parole who participated in mentoring services funded by a federal Second Chance Act (SCA) grant (mentored group) or youth on parole who did not participate in mentoring services (comparison group). The evaluation of the probation mentoring programs had the same type of design (mentored group and comparison group). Youth in the mentored and comparison groups were matched on risk, race, gender, and age. The evaluation also conducted a survey that measured the quality of the mentoring relationship and overall youth satisfaction with their mentor and respective mentoring program. The process evaluation used the Evidence Based Correction Program Checklist. This study adds to the existing literature that has shown mixed effects for mentoring programs that service youth involved in the juvenile justice system. In some of the analyses for the current study, mentoring services reduced recidivism. For others, however, there was no change in recidivism. When recidivism was reduced, the effects were relatively small and did not reach statistical significance. This study recommends caution in committing to the widespread use of mentoring for the sole purpose of reducing recidivism. Questions remain regarding the features of mentoring services that consistently reduce recidivism. 35 references and appended tabular data

Date Published: November 1, 2017