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WJN predominantly works in Sydney and Greater Western Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter and Newcastle regions. We can reach outside of these areas, depending on mentor availability and current capacity.
Women entangled in the criminal justice system are referred to as the Mentee.
What exactly is mentoring?
Mentoring is the one-on-one relationship between a Mentor and a Mentee. Matching a Mentor and Mentee is a specialised process. No two mentoring relationships are the same. The Women’s Justice Network take a client-centred approach, whereby the Mentee is encouraged to voice what she would like to achieve by having a Mentor. Intentions vary from vague to specific; they most often include social, emotional and/or practical support. Once the Women’s Justice Network have familiarised themselves with the Mentee’s motivation and the type/level of assistance she will require, an appropriate and fitting Mentor is then selected, and the relationship commences.
For both parties (the Mentor and the Mentee) this relationship is voluntarily entered into. It is this initial willingness and motivation that heightens the chances of creating a beneficial relationship resulting in successful outcomes.
The Mentor assisted by the support of the Women’s Justice Network, assists the Mentee to gain the necessary skills, confidence and direction to overcome life’s obstacles and avoid the possibility of incarceration, particularly during vulnerable periods in adolescence.
Mentoring is in-between that of a friendship and a professional relationship. Mentees often refer to their Mentors as their ‘guide’, ‘role model’ and ‘go-to person’. Mentoring is not case management or counselling, rather it is empowering a Mentee to find and implement their own solutions whilst enhancing their social supports and networks.
WJN works to advance the well being and prospects of some of our communities most marginalised and disadvantaged women and girls to make life lasting significant changes to become empowered to lead crime free lives and become contributing members of our community.
The WJN Mentoring Program is proven to reduce rates of recidivism and ultimately reduce crime. To date the program has had a 93% success rate of any women who has engaged in the program for 1 year or more has not re-offended or returned to prison
Our Mentoring Program provides women and girls with an opportunity to learn coping mechanisms, new skills, confidence, and direction to assist them in overcoming various issues, allowing them to become contributing members of the community and avoid incarceration. This social support is flexible and individually tailored to meet the needs of each woman and girl.
The ultimate outcome of the Mentoring Program is to assist women and girls to make positive choices and lifestyle changes that promote their global wellbeing, encourage autonomy, community reintegration and learning from lived experiences.
The Mentoring Program aims to provide an opportunity to build a sense of belonging to their local community for women and girls who have exited custody or are at-risk of entering the criminal justice system. This is achieved by linking female trained volunteer mentors with women who have a history with the criminal justice system. Female Mentors are recruited to provide gender-appropriate social support to women and girls.
The third greatest predictor of re-offending is linked to whom an ex-prisoner associates with (Department of Corrective Services NSW). Women leaving prison are less likely to re-enter prison and/or detention if they have appropriate social support and are part of a mentoring program upon their release.
Mentors are an incredible group of women from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, spanning a wide age range, who have varied skills and interests and all of whom are passionate and committed.
For more information, email our Mentoring Coordinator [email protected] or call on 02 8011 0699
To become a mentor click HERE
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