OJJDP Mentoring Funds Boosted by $20 Million

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The fiscal 2010 omnibus spending bill signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 16 adds $20 million – for a total of $100 million – to the pool of funds available for competitive grants in a key mentoring program.

The White House had requested $80 million for the Youth Mentoring Grants program, which is run by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), but congressional appropriators boosted the total. They also added the requirement that the administration report within 60 days on the criteria and methodology it would use to award the grants. Lawmakers said that they expected “OJJDP will take all steps necessary to ensure fairness and objectivity in the award of these and future grants.”

That’s not to say members didn’t use their power of the purse to earmark other OJJDP funds for mentoring projects that won’t have to compete for federal largesse: several “mentoring partnerships” were among hundreds of organizations receiving more than $91 million in congressionally directed awards from another OJJDP account.

MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, an advocacy group, sent a news release to praise these mentoring earmarks, among others in the bill:

  • Chamber Education Foundation/Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership, in Warwick, $400,000.
  • Delaware Mentoring Council in Newark for Mentoring Initiatives for At-Risk Children and Youth, $750,000.
  • Governor’s Prevention Partnership in Hartford, Conn., for the At-Risk Youth Prevention Initiative, $250,000, and the Prevention Initiative for At-Risk Youth, $300,000.
  • Mobius, Vt., Mentoring Collaborative, $500,000.
  • North Carolina Mentoring Partnership in Raleigh for Mentoring Programs for At-Risk Youth, $400,000, and Mentoring At-Risk Youth, $100,000.
  • Virginia Mentoring Partnership in Richmond for Mentoring Programs for At-Risk Youth, $200,000.
  • Washington State Mentors in Issaquah for the Mentoring Initiative for At-Risk Youth, $300,000.

The earmarks do not count against the $100 million specifically for mentoring competitive grants, and other support for mentoring programs may come from different accounts.  

OJJDP says in its 2010 proposed program plan that mentoring will be supported in several ways, including funding national organizations to strengthen and expand existing mentoring activities; building capacity of and incorporating research into youth mentoring efforts at all levels of government; and expanding communities’ ability to extend mentoring services to “populations of at-risk youth who are underserved due to location, shortage of mentors, special physical or mental challenges, or other situations identified by the community [as] in need of mentoring services.”

Mentoring services are also emphasized in the Second Chance Act Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Demonstration Project, which received $37 million in funding for this year. Applications are invited now and are due on March 4. Another $15 million was appropriated in 2010 for the act’s mentoring and transitional services to assist individuals coming home from jail and prison; last year, some of the funds for that program were directed specifically to mentor reintegrating youths, according to the Reentry Policy Council, which closely follows the Second Chance Act.

Other agencies received youth mentoring funds as well, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose Mentoring Children of Prisoners program was increased slightly from its 2009 level of $49.3 million to $50 million for this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2009.

  • Dr. Edward Pabon

    Does anyone know where all these mentors are coming from? The research seems to suggest that the effectiveness of mentoring depends on the high quality of mentors. Except for model programs, local metoring services have been difficult to implement.

  • lee lewis

    the mentors should  come from the fathers who owe childsupport- instead of the fia making felons of the fathers in this country, grossly dividing and destroying the family structure, they should create jobs for the men who would love to earn a living/and help children in any supervised capacity needed. these mentoring orgs will waste millions on a high salary jobs,while millions of people are jobless p.s women are seeking mentoring job opps too.

  • Richard E Towson

      Hello,

    I am a exfelon.  I grew up on the streets of Baltimore.  I just put in place a program and currently applied for the funding.  Please I can talk to your youth for free about prison,gangs,drugs and crime.  Please check out my

    website:  http://www.SecondChanceChristianInmateReform.com or call 410-564-9549

     

  • JESSE BLACKSTONE

    I AM YOUR HOMEBOY LIVIN IN DALLAS! I AM INVOLVED WITH 3 PROGRAMS PRESENTLY. 1. THE P.I.E. PROGRAM (NEW ORLEANS L.A.) INVOLVES AN 12 STEP EDUCATIONAL MODUAL PROGRAM THAT TEACHES AN INDIVIDUAL HOW TO START & RUN THEIR OWN BUSINESS! THE WEBSITE IS http://www.pieinteractive.com. 2.THE BLAIR HOLT FOUNDATION(PARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE!) with MR. RONALD HOLT! CHICAGO! 3.STEPPING INTO CHRIST MINISTRIES!!! with MR.JOE SMITH (CHICAGO NATIVE). HAS A THRIFT STORE, TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR TROUBLED YOUTH, BEEN IN EXISTANCE OVER 8yrs. WE NEED TO MERGE ALL OF OUR RESOURCES AND GET THEM UNDER ONE UMBRELLA. SOME KIND OF GAME PLAN BEFORE SUMMER TIME OR WE ARE GOING TO CATCH -ELL!!!

  • Daquan-Aku Reinhardt

    In the state of Virginia, we have a group called the Order of the Knights of Pythagoras which is sponsored by Prince Hall Masons.  We mentor children from ages 8-20 teaching them:

    •Peer pressure resistance and other skills to prevent anti-social behavior such as violence, drug abuse and pre-marital sex.

     •Problem-solving counseling and intervention and linkage to other community resources.

     •Making mature career decisions as well as assistance in developing skills which will compliment their being prepared to function in society

    I agree with Jesse blackstone, there are so many mentor programs in cetralized locations within cities, we need to unite more and do collective programs together.

    -Daquan Reinhardt

  • Ameenah Atkins

    are there any mentoring programs for young men who are in prison and over  the age of 25?