Peer Mentoring

Peer mentors are ex or current offenders who are trained to act as positive role models to men and women who are currently being supervised by the CRC. The mentoring training gives skills, motivation, focus and self-belief.

As well as having a positive impact upon preventing further offending by peer mentors, the programme also prevents re-offending by those who access the support as part of their supervision plan.  Having a positive role model is extremely powerful in desistance from offending.

Peer Mentors must meet the following criteria

  • Be free of illicit drug use
  • No problematic use of alcohol
  • Have stopped offending
  • Developed a stable lifestyle and positive attitude and be in a position to help and support others.

Peer Mentor ‘Kerry’ (Her name has been changed)
Kerry explains how training to be a peer mentor has had positive benefits for herself and the people she has engaged with.

Opening up to your probation officer begins when you start to trust them. I guess I needed drawing out of myself before I could begin to talk about what had happened to me. That’s not easy when your memories are so painful. Trust is really important when you are volunteering as a peer mentor.

Peer mentoring has helped me to have a better understanding of someone else’s viewpoint, their perspective. My ex-boyfriend used drugs and he went through a detox. I never thought about how he scared he was probably feeling. Peer mentoring has enabled me to deal more positively with things in my life. I’m better at coping and I’m not reaching for a drink as a way of dealing with stuff.

People want to come round to my house now and sit and chat to me. I am proud of what I have achieved, particularly with the women’s group. One of the women said that she owed her life to me. That made me feel really good, but it was down to her hard work and determination to change. I’ve got the peer mentoring bug and I want to do so much more.