FOCUS mentors serve as a bridge in the offenders’ transition back into society, helping them to stabilize, rebuild their lives and eventually achieve self-sufficiency. We utilize only highly trained mentors to help their mentees (incarcerated adults over the age of 18) cope with the demands of reentry and reintegration into the community: housing, employment, transportation, and communication. Mentors also help offenders to meet personal goals as well, one of which is often family reunification.
The key to our success is the consistent presence of an experienced, concerned adult who models the life skills necessary to create pro-health stability and pro-social attitudes; one who maintains a consistently encouraging presence, is non-judgmental and is not affiliated with the correctional system or any other institution.
A FOCUS mentor is 25 years of age or older and willing to provide guidance in life skills. Volunteers should be prepared to make a commitment of at least one year. The mentoring relationship may last for a longer or shorter period depending on the client’s needs. Participation for both the mentor and client is voluntary, it may be ended at any point if either the client, mentor or both decide that termination is appropriate.
The mentor will spend roughly 2 hours per week with the client. More time will be needed during the immediate post-release period and around special life events: court hearings, custody issues, and graduations.
Volunteers receive 20 hours of preliminary training before mentoring. Topics covered include: 1) Policies and Protocols, 2) Motivational Interviewing, 3) Mental Health, Substance Abuse and The Offender Population, and 4) From Learned Helplessness to Resilience. An orientation at the Boulder County Jail is required and includes a background check. Mentors will also be expected to regularly attend monthly training opportunities throughout the year.
Extensive support is provided to mentors by FOCUS staff and the therapists and criminal justice professionals associated with the program. Staff will initiate contact with mentors regularly just to check in.
If you are interested in becoming a FOCUS Mentor, please complete the application below and either email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or print, complete, and mail to us at:
4705 Baseline Road
Boulder, CO 80303
View the Mentor / FOCUS Contract.