Undergraduate mentors, incarcerated youth, reentry, transition from incarceration, HOPE mentor


Helping Offenders Prosper through Employment (HOPE) is a university-based mentoring program that trains undergraduate students to serve as job mentors to incarcerated youth serving a sentence in Indiana’s juvenile correctional facilities. The purpose of this article is to describe HOPE’s mission, principles and components, underscoring how undergraduates are prepared and serve as credible role models to incarcerated youth during and after confinement to improve community reentry. This article is intended for practitioners interested in implementing evidence-based peer mentoring in juvenile correctional facilities as well as scholars interested in the study of factors that reduce juvenile recidivism.

Author Bio

Theresa A. Ochoa is an Associate Professor and Founder and Executive Director of HOPE mentoring program. She has a Ph.D. in special education and specializes in behavioral disorders. Her current research includes juvenile delinquency and interventions to disrupt the school to prison pipeline.

Nicole Maki Weller, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Indiana University Kokomo. Dr. Weller is a medical sociologist whose research includes the social interactions influencing adolescent risky health behaviors. Her research is strongly integrated with community-based partnerships including local juvenile correctional facilities for the HOPE mentoring program.

Molly A. Riddle, PhD, Assistant Professor and Elementary Education Coordinator of the Department of Education, School of Social Sciences and Education at Greensboro College. Dr. Riddle’s background includes eleven years of K-12 teaching and alternative education. As a scholar she is dedicated to cultivating a robust understanding of diversity, equity, and social justice within communities and classrooms.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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