Veterans and other military personnel will be given the opportunity to mentor young offenders in custody, to provide positive role models and help reduce the reoffending rate.
The Veterans Young Offender Mentoring Program, in coordination with the NSW RSL, will match mentors with about 40 young people each year, providing opportunities to develop a young person’s social skills, self-esteem, and help them reach their potential.
Veterans will provide guidance and support during the final six months of a young person’s sentence and the first six months of their release from custody. Mentors will also be available for young people who are on community–based orders.
NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the government would invest $600,000 for two years of the mentoring program in Western Sydney and the Mid-North Coast.
“Every family knows a young person who is a bit of a tearaway and has now made something of their lives. Veterans have discipline, resilience and a dedication to service, which makes them perfect mentors,” Mr Elliott said.
“Unfortunately, some young people don’t have positive role models in their life and I hope that this program will help to fill that void, as well as complement the other positive work being done by Juvenile Justice.”