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Make a Friend -- Be a Peer Mentor

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1999
8 pages
Publication Series
Mentoring programs, when carefully designed, may prevent or reduce juvenile crime by providing positive influences for young people who need extra attention or who do not have a good support system available to them.
In particular, having an older person to talk to and spend time with, someone who can provide encouragement and friendship, may mean the difference between dropping out of school and graduating or between getting involved with drugs and developing the strength and self-confidence to resist such pressures. Young people involved in mentoring programs are less likely to experiment with drugs, to be physically aggressive, and to skip school than those not involved in these programs. An effective mentoring program requires training for potential mentors, careful matching of mentors and those being mentored, and ongoing support to maintain and improve the mentoring relationship. Specific guidelines and procedures for mentors are detailed to ensure the mentoring process is sustained and successful and to overcome some of the challenges associated with mentoring programs. Benefits of mentoring programs and ways in which such programs can be evaluated are also considered.

Date Published: July 1, 1999