16 Dec Mentoring Alternatives
When connected with mentors, ex-offenders remained in the program an average of 9.7 months versus 6.6 months for those without mentors and were 60% less likely to leave the program any given month. Participants with mentors at least once were twice as likely to obtain employment than those without mentors and needed less time to find their first job. Those with mentors were more likely to remain employed for three months than those unmentored.
Mentored participants were 35% less likely to recidivate within one year after being released from incarceration than those without mentors. And ex-offenders who met with a mentor additional time showed a smaller decline in the likelihood of recidivating.
Treatment courts, also called problem-solving courts, can target offenders’ root causes of crime. Drug Courts have the benefit of addressing addictions through treatment providers as well as accountability through court supervision. Communities have attempted to expand treatment courts such as Mental Health Courts, DUI Courts, Veterans Courts. National studies show that treatment courts can reduce recidivism rates from 50% and more to less than 20%. Drug Court costs range from an average of $1,500 to $11,000 per case. In studies done in some states, savings were seen of $10 in corrections for every $1 invested in Drug Courts.
Such intervention methods such as house arrests could be used in greater frequency particularly for county sentences, thereby reducing the necessity for beds, food and medical care at prisons. However, house arrest could also be used as an intermediate punishment by state and county parole instead of incarceration for parole violations. The cost of electronic monitoring devices ranges from $5 to $10 which could be paid by offenders if allowed employment. House arrest also does not cause such negative effects such as loss of taxes from employment by offenders, loss of family structures, homes and so on.