IDOC seeks mentors for offenders

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The Idaho Department of Correction has launched an innovative initiative aimed at protecting the people of Idaho while helping offenders turn around their lives.

The department is recruiting volunteers to mentor offenders upon their release from prison. The mentors will guide offenders as they take on challenges like searching for employment and housing.  The mentors will also help the offenders grow roots in their community by connecting them with activities involving the offender’s faith, their family and their positive avocations.  The mentors will be carefully screened, trained and supervised.

“We have more than 1,100 volunteers serving in our correctional facilities, but we don’t have those same connections in our Probation and Parole side of the house,” says IDOC Director Kevin H. Kempf. “Even back when I was probation and parole officer we didn’t truly understand how much these volunteers and community organizations could help.”  

 IDOC invites former probationers and parolees, with track records of clean, successful living to apply for the program. Kempf says the department needs to take advantage of the former offenders’ experience and wisdom.

“We often look to government for solutions. But I believe that community and faith-based groups have much to offer when it comes to changing hearts and turning around lives -- especially here in Idaho where the volunteer spirit remains strong,” Kempf says. 

To learn more about IDOC’s Community Mentor program send email: mentoring@idoc.idaho.gov

Story published: 02/26/2016
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