Amicus's Reentry Mentoring service connects people incarcerated in Minnesota prisons with trained and supported volunteer friends. Volunteers have helped thousands of people leaving incarceration successfully transition back into community. Volunteers can be anyone with a few hours a month and a desire to talk, listen, and offer non-judgmental feedback. They receive training and support, but most have no backgrounds in criminal justice or mentoring.
Building Positive Friendships
Starting over with a friend
People reentering society after incarceration often struggle to establish healthy connections to community. Amicus Reentry Mentoring helps foster this connection by building relationships with trained and supportive volunteers, offering justice involved individuals a sounding board to help them plan their post-release future and a friendly face outside of prison walls. Program participants have been shown to be four times less likely to end up back in prison as compared to state average.
Being a volunteer involves:
Make a Commitment. To build a personal relationship, we ask for a minimum of one visit, letter or message per month and a commitment of at least one year.
Get Matched. Both volunteers and participants are interviewed and matched for compatibility and either can decline a match if they so choose.
Get Trained. Volunteers attend a single-night information session to learn more about the program. If they choose to move forward with the matching process, they are offered support groups and additional training throughout the year.
Get Support. A volunteer is called upon solely to be a friend, but there is a variety of Amicus support services a participant might take part in after their release from prison, including finding employment and housing.
“I’ve been incarcerated for 13 years and had begun to lose touch with people and society. Amicus has changed all that. I see the good I thought no longer existed. Thank you for making me feel like a person again.”
-Amicus Mentoring participant
Commonly Asked Questions
By extending a hand of friendship, volunteers help people who are incarcerated feel cared about, develop trust, and try out new behaviors.
Volunteers generally take only a few hours out of each month to be in touch with their friends – through visits, messages, phone calls, and mail. We ask for a minimum commitment of a year. Some friendships last lifetimes but that’s up to you.
Our matching process is designed to match participants and volunteers with compatible interests or values. We offer orientation and regular support sessions for volunteers and are always available for any questions or concerns.
Participants are looking for someone to connect with who has no other agenda than friendship. Nothing is needed beyond the training provided. Amicus will help the participant search for other resources they need as they prepare to leave incarceration. The volunteer will need to be approved for visiting by the MN Department of Corrections.