Impact Georgia Magazine - Regaining Momentum Spring 2021 - Page 21


Mentor Training

Counselor ’ s learn how to help offenders see the possibility and positivity of helping others
Offender mentors are described as those who support and inspire other offenders to develop attitudes and skills needed to succeed during their incarceration and in society upon release . The Georgia Department of Corrections ( GDC ) has worked diligently to redefine and establish the steps necessary to becoming an offender mentor . To cultivate mentors within the GDC , the Office of Reentry Services has worked closely with facilities to identify counseling staff that would deliver training to offenders , on their way to becoming offender mentors .
To begin paving the pathway for offender mentors , the Office of Reentry Services hosted a virtual Lifers / Long Term and Pathfinders training for counseling staff . For the counselor to successfully implement the process , they must receive training on the process and curriculum to guide the offenders . The instructor training reviews every course to best teach topics such as self-disciplines , problem-solving , journaling , conflict resolution , and the skills offenders will need to be peer and facilitator mentors . Course instructors are expected to teach in group settings , be enthusiastic with each topic , demonstrate empathy , and keep groups on task without lecturing . During the training , counselors also give tips on assessing the offender ’ s ability to be a mentor .
Upon completing this training , the counseling staff will begin facilitating each program at their facility to offenders who will one day become offender mentors .