OJJDP News @ a Glance Volume: 2 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2003 Pages: 1-6
This document discusses the benefits of mentoring at-risk youth.
Mentoring is an effective way to prevent at-risk youth from becoming involved in delinquency and also to help already delinquent youth change their lives for the better. Mentoring relationships have been shown to improve youth's self-esteem, behavior, and academic performance. Since 1994, the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) initiative has sponsored programs that provide one-to-one mentoring. The initiative focuses on intervening with youth at risk of entering or re-entering the juvenile justice system. Its ultimate goal is to develop a population of healthy youth through structured relationships with caring adults. JUMP matches volunteer adult mentors and at-risk youth with the specific intent of improving academic performance and reducing school dropout rates, youth gang involvement, and delinquency. In Fiscal Year 2003, 30 JUMP grants were awarded to mentoring programs across the Nation, bringing to 299 the total number of grants awarded. JUMP projects have provided more than 9,200 youth with mentors. JUMP grantees receive awards for a 3-year project period, with the specific goal of becoming self-sustaining. Preliminary findings from the JUMP National Evaluation show that many grantees have successfully developed new funding streams. Recently, a promotional campaign and Web page was developed by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to encourage adults to become mentors and to facilitate the establishment of mentoring relationships. As specified in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002, OJJDP's mentoring program will be consolidated with several other program areas under the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant Program. There will be a special emphasis on helping States develop mentoring programs that use the special expertise of faith-based and other community-based organizations.
Date Published: November 1, 2003