All UTG mentors have lived experience in prison which helps us give a unique perspective on what a mentee is going through the day they are released. Mentors do not offer a set type of service to each mentee; instead, the mentor and mentee work to set tailored health goals and the steps to achieve them upon release. Mentors offer to listen, answer questions, serve as positive role models, connect mentees with community resources, help navigate the healthcare system, share their experience being released and their journey on this side of the gates. We help mentees cope with daily struggles in a healthy way.
What was it like having a mentor the day you were released
Nice to have someone there to help me adjust to being free
It was nice to have someone there who has shared my struggles we really connected
Very helpful and gratifying to have someone help me reajust into the community
Mentors support their mentees by meeting with them the first 72 hours upon release, accompanying them to appointments and helping them to meet their health goals. Some mentors and mentees meet 1 day while others meet for 3 days, others meet when the mentee feels they need extra support. The informal quality of the relationship has been one of the program’s strengths early in its implementation; mentors and mentees build a relationship that allows clients to seek the support they need when they are released.