An Analysis of the Second Chance Mentoring Program among Female Offenders




Cantu, Katherine
Spence-Almaguer, Emily
Rohr, Danielle
Chhetri, Shlesma


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Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of the Second Chance Mentoring (SCM) program, which works to reduce the rate of recidivism among moderate-to-high risk incarcerated women. Methods: The SCM program offered through collaboration between Family Pathfinders and Cornerstone Assistance Network of Tarrant County provides assistance to successfully reintegrate incarcerated women into the community. Information is collected during the incarceration to determine the recidivism risk level using the Ohio Risk Assessment Scale (ORAS) scores. Participants are enrolled in 12 months of mentoring services with a matched mentor upon their release from prison. Post-release, data is submitted to Family Pathfinders on a regular basis by the mentors and agency. The participants are deemed successful if one does not recidivate, meaning the individual is not arrested and incarcerated on new charges within 12 months of their release from their most recent incarceration. Upon successful completion of SCM, data of the participants is collected from the Texas Criminal Justice system to obtain background information in the justice system. Results: Complete data profiles for the initial cohort were used. Of the 50 women who expressed some interest in the program, 29 complete profiles were provided between the justice system and community partners. These were then further investigated for successful and unsuccessful completion. Findings indicate that middle-aged women without the equivalent of a high-school diploma were more likely to be unsuccessful than compared to middle-aged women with a diploma/GED. Of those who were unsuccessful, 55% reported not having a place to live upon their release, where 89% of the successful women did have a place to live. Findings also suggest that the mentor relationship does contribute to less recidivism when 30% of those who were unsuccessful were not yet matched with a mentor before recidivating. Conclusions: The Second Chance Mentoring program provides sufficient support to reduce the risk of recidivism among moderate-to-high risk women. The promotion of social capital and encouragement to continue education through SCM allows for a successful reentry into the community.