Mentor Program FAQ

Can I mentor more than one offender at a time?

Yes. You will be the judge of what your time constraints allow as you establish and build an effective mentorship.

As a mentor, can I have contact with the participant and his/her family while they are incarcerated and when they are not?

Yes. IDOC recognizes that positive, appropriate contact with the participant and their families, both inside and out, is critical to the reintegration efforts and continued success upon release.

When I start mentoring a participant on Probation or Parole, how will I know what their conditions of supervision are that have to be met?

As much as possible, you will be provided with information regarding programming, Probation/Parole Officer contact information, and the Probation/Parole Agreement along with other relevant, non-confidential information. This will be helpful when developing mentoring activities with your participant in the community.

What is enhancement training for mentors?

Rather than develop a hard and fast schedule for ongoing training throughout the year, we are looking at a more flexible and informal approach. The goal is to provide a variety of opportunities to address issues that come up, provide additional resources and contacts and be as accommodating as possible to the demands of the mentor’s personal and professional schedule.

The idea is to have enhancement training opportunties posted on the IDOC website so mentors can take advantage of them when possible. We will require mentors to participate in at least 6 hours of enhancement training annually. For example, enhancement training may be scheduled at regular intervals or on an as-needed basis and take the form of:

  • Discussion sessions - small, informal groups of mentors meeting together for a TBD amount of time that cover a range of topics from skill development and problem-solving to boundary and manipulation issues.
  • Seminars - may include guest speakers from the volunteer, government, private, faith-based, business, education, and civic communities that can provide additional insight and training regarding mentoring.
  • Panel discussions - experienced mentors and participants may convene to share experiences as to what does or doesn’t work and may also serve as resources and even mentors themselves to the mentors.
If I attend a New Volunteer training during the year, will that satisfy the requirement for the required enhancement training?

Maybe. We do want to make sure that the training is tailored to mentoring. However, if there is no enhancement training opportunities available, then yes, it will satisfy the requirement.

Will training that I might attend outside of what the IDOC offers be counted towards the required enhancement training? For example, recovery coach training or other training I may receive in my church or place of work?

That certainly can be taken into consideration. Please contact the Mentor Program Manager at

After I start mentoring and decide that, for whatever reason, the mentorship isn’t working, can I end it?

Yes. Mentoring is completely voluntary for both the mentor and the participant. We want to make sure that the relationship ends on a good note as much as possible. We may ask you for some input as to the reason for ending it so that we can continue to improve the program.

The following are reasons for termination of the mentorship:


  • Loss of the participant's release date - remember, that the mentorship should only be about 6-9 months before release. Any longer than that needs to be approved on a case-by-case with IDOC.
  • Participant recitivates - this means that while in the community he/she ends up back in an IDOC facility within three years of release, not a county jail.
  • Violation of mentor agreement and rules.
  • By decision of IDOC staff in there is a determination that the mentorship may become harmful to either party, to the public, or to the IDOC or any of its staff.
How will it work if a participant is being mentored in the prison in Orofino, but is released to Pocatello?

The ideal situation would be if the mentor in Orofino would move to Pocatello with the participant to continue the mentorship but we realize that just isn’t possible. When we know the offender will be released to Pocatello, we will start looking for a mentor in that area. Once one is identified, we will strive to ensure that the participant and that mentor start to have some contact even if just through the phone calls or letters. Once the participant arrives in Pocatello, we anticipate that the new mentor will have the information needed to begin mentoring in the community.

This is not by any means a perfect solution to this issue so feedback or suggestions regarding the geographical logistics are welcomed at

Can I volunteer in the prisons and mentor in the community at the same time?

Yes. There are differences between the Free2Succeed mentor program and volunteer services in the prisons and thus the participation and training requirements are different.