Mentoring is a key component of veterans treatment courts, a diversionary problem-solving court for justice-involved military veterans. Mentoring programs are unique to veterans’ courts; no other problem-solving courts systematically include them as critical components of their court programming. Despite their prominence in veterans courts, little is known about mentor program operations and court expectations for mentors’ roles and responsibilities. This study examines mentors’ roles and responsibilities as perceived by mentees, mentors, and veterans treatment court staff. Using in-depth interview data from respondents from each of these groups, supplemented by observational data from court hearings and pre-court meetings, we identify three types of mentoring styles: enforcers, sponsor/advocates, and friend. We find a lack of clarity in mentors’ roles and responsibilities, which negatively impacted mentor-mentee relationships and mentors’ relationships with the court. The three mentoring styles identified in this study offer veterans treatment courts a framework to shape and refine the mentor role and guide future efforts to provide standardized training for mentors.
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Douds, A. S., Ahlin, E. M., & Posteraro, M. (2021). Noble Intent Is Not Enough To Run Veterans Court Mentoring Programs: A Qualitative Study of Mentors’ Role Orientation and Responsibilities. Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology. https://doi.org/10.21428/88de04a1.a897747a