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Faith-Based Mentoring Program For JIYA

Faith-Based Mentoring Program For JIYA

Vine Life Ministries and Youngstown CIRV (Community Initiative to Reduce Violence) have teamed to provide male faith-based mentors from churches in Youngstown to a population of adult felony offenders between the ages of 18 and 24 serviced through the ODRC Justice Involved Young Adults (JIYA) Bureau of Justice Administration grant.  The JIYA population is supervised by the Youngstown APA Office. This initiative also has the direct support of Youngstown City Council.  The grant and pilot focus on the supervision of this targeted high risk population in four Ohio counties, to include Mahoning County.  JIYA parole officers have received extensive training related to this population and have been designated a decreased caseload of strictly 18 to 24-year-old moderate and higher risk offenders.  The parole officers are offering cognitive behavioral programming to the justice involved young adults, as well as institution in-reach prior to release to community supervision.  Another component of the pilot is increased community and field contact between the parole officer, justice involved young adult, and any other identified support person(s) (family, employer, mentor, etc). 

This initiative has been patterned after ODRC’s Life Builders Faith-based Mentoring Program. All of the volunteer mentors will be ODRC approved volunteers and receive the required Life Builders specialized mentor training in February. The volunteer mentors will meet with the mentees at group meetings held at various locations in the community. The program is tentatively set to kick off in late March 2018.

Vine Life and CIRV have titled the program “Life2Life” and provide the following description of the program:

“Life2Life is a men’s mentoring program engaging seasoned men in the lives of younger men (ages 18 to 24) as “life coaches”. We believe that young men who have made poor choices early in life are redeemable and that their setbacks may actually be “set-ups” for their becoming successful and productive husbands, fathers and workers.”

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