Mentoring

 
Mentorship takes a variety of forms, including working with those incarcerated, felons and ex-cons in the community, ex-convict undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty. Since the publication of Convict Criminology, many members of the group receive correspondence from prisoners in institutions around the country, and people with family in prison. This provides us with a window into current prison conditions and prisoner concerns.

Prisoners solicit advice on how to deal with institutional problems, begin a college education, publish, and/or how to plan for release from prison.

Additionally, our participation in national and regional sociology and criminology conferences has brought us to the attention of ex-con students, who hear of us or are referred by non-cons. Not only have we assisted in placing students in graduate programs, but we have helped graduate students in attempts to get their first academic job, as well as dealing with issues of promotion and tenure.

The criminal justice system machinery processes millions of people per year through courts, jails, and prisons. A majority of these are young adults. We suggest that universities begin to consider how this phenomenon may be affecting potential and present students. We believe universities have a responsibility, at the very least, to inform students of how criminal convictions might impact their career choices. Many of the convict criminologists report receiving numerous emails and phone calls from complete strangers, ex-convicts asking for help as they attempt to apply to university programs.

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