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Research Alert: New Study on Mentoring Inside Adult Prisons May Be Meaningful for Juvenile Re-entry Services

MARCH 16, 2016

Editor’s note: From time to time on the NMRC Blog we will cross-post announcements about new research studies on mentoring drawing from the research listserv run by NMRC Research Board Chair Dr. David DuBois. Today we offer a quick glance at a new study on community visits by mentors to people during their incarceration, something we also see being applied to juvenile detainees in programs across the country. Dr. DuBois writes:

I was just reading this morning some very interesting and well-done research on effects of community volunteer visits on reoffending of incarcerated adults, in which visits by community volunteers—specifically clergy and mentors—were linked convincingly to lower rates of reoffending. This offers good evidence to support this type of strategy with youth offenders, as well as with incarcerated parents of youth who are being mentored—a double mentoring strategy, if you will.

The study abstract notes that the “effect on recidivism grew as the proportion of CV [community volunteer] visits to all visits increased. The findings suggest CV visits should be conceptualized as a programming resource to be used with higher risk offenders who lack social support.” The NMRC will be posting an evidence review here on the site soon for mentoring juvenile offenders that will also examine their re-entry outcomes. But this is yet another contribution to the growing literature that supports the idea that mentoring beyond (and, in this case, within) prison walls can have meaningful impacts for communities.

Article: Duwe, G. & Johnson, B.R. (2015). The effects of prison visits from community volunteers on offender recidivism. The Prison Journal, 96(2), 279–303.

The abstract for this article can be found here. Full text copies are available from the publisher or through your local public library.

You can join Dr. DuBois’ youth mentoring research and practice listserv by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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