The good pathways mentoring program seeks to address a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. The goal is to help participants readjust and become situated within their community. The ‘Community mentoring program’ provides personalised support for detainees to adjust to life outside of prison. This is offered through one-on-one support by Aboriginal volunteers who have received specialist training (see Attract phase in following section), to establish support networks, promote healthy decision-making, enhance social skills and encourage released prisoners to navigate their lives independently. A great success has been reported by detainees participating in mentoring programs across the globe. Similar mentoring programs have been successfully implemented for Indigenous detainees in Canada, New Zealand and America and have produced the desired results. The outcomes of the program are to:
- build self-confidence and self-esteem
- provide a safe place for intimate conversations in a supportive and non-judgmental way
- develop within the participant an ability to achieve independence, empowerment, respect and inclusion in a healthy environment;
- establish cultural connections.
Aboriginal Elders with good standing in the community are recruited as mentors and trained for this program. A mentor pool is being created, and the mentors are supplied with a smartphone to answer phone calls from mentees. The mentors will be trained on a regular basis, and it is expected that the mentoring pool will grow over time.