In July 2007, the West Virginia Division of Corrections will implement its faith based component of its reentry initiative. Third Base Coaching is intended to provide an opportunity for offenders who discharge their sentence or receive parole to establish a one-on-one relationship with a mentor from the faith community in the area which he/she will be returning.
The mentoring relationship will begin sometime prior to release and continue for a specified period after release. The goal of the program is to foster independence in the participant with the idea of helping him/her become a productive member of society and their faith community, and remain free.
The WVDOC will initiate this program with the full understanding that for every crime there is a victim. This program is designed in a way to assist the offender to change his/her pattern of behavior in order that they will not re-victimize their victim or have new victims. Assistance for victims will continue to be provided through the office of the Victim Services Manager of the WVDOC. We also encourage the faith community to sponsor programs and activities that provide support for the victims of crime.
This program is designed to work in cooperation with existing re-entry programs already established by the faith community. By implementing this program the desire is to provide an opportunity for an even greater number from the faith based community to participate.
The program is based upon two levels of mentorship- transitional mentoring inside prisons and community-based mentoring once an offender is released.
Mentors are asked to:
- MODEL a faith/ loving relationship to participant
- Foster a caring and supportive relationship creating an independence from and not a dependence upon the mentor or the system as a whole
- Encourage positive self concept
- Teach and aid in goal setting
- Support other positive relationships within the faith community
- Assist in linking the offender to community based services
- Promote appropriate, positive family relationships (Will not promote re-uniting families where there is a history of domestic violence, and/or where the victims were family members. Will leave restoration and confrontation by victims up to Mental Health/Corrections professionals.)
- Help develop personal accountability (self-leadership) and personal responsibility
- Promote constructive community involvement such as participation in church groups/activities, AA/NA, recreational activities, and private/civic groups.
- Encourage the offender in life domain areas (keeping a job, paying bills on time, etc.)
- Communicate with and/or seek assistance from the organization leader, WVDOC Religious Services Program Mentor, and participant’s Parole Officer as needed.
Interested In Mentoring?