Mentoring is a tested, effective tool for facilitating reentry. The mentoring process pairs a recently released inmate with a community-based guide, or mentor. Mentors meet with their mentees on a regular basis to provide advice about navigating life outside of prison. The mentoring process is an effective addition to probation, by helping to establish needed community connections.
Eric Washington is a mentor active with Minnesota's federal Reentry Court. Through regular one-on-one and group meetings, Eric helps formerly incarcerated men find their way through the often-challenging reentry process. Using his own experiences as a touchstone, he is able to provide insights and needed guidance to his mentees, helping to steer them to productive opportunities, while avoiding the pitfalls that lead to recidivism.
Eric discusses his philosophy for mentoring.
Eric describes the importance of trust in building mentor relationships.
Eric’s men’s group discusses the value of his group as a vehicle for discussing reentry and recovery issues not touched on elsewhere.
Eric discusses how mentoring fits into the Reentry Court program and notes the successes he’s seen.
The men’s group talks about the challenges of
reintegrating with families after a prison stay.
Eric’s group brings mentors and community members together with men going through reentry to discuss their shared experiences and to relate advice.