Currently, 60% of people released from prison will reoffend within two years of release.
Our aim is to pave the way for a better life beyond the prison gate, with the ultimate goal of reducing reoffending rates in Aotearoa New Zealand. Additionally, we’re creating an opportunity for everyday people to actively contribute to this solution by becoming volunteer mentors.
Our unique programme provides a mentoring blueprint structured around actionable modules. It starts with an initial two day training workshop for the mentors which includes an overview of the programme. The mentor and mentee will then be matched pre-release and begin the journey in prison together.
This journey starts with monthly meetings in prison working with the programme to be prepared for release and developing an action plan. Post-release there will be regular meetings at a mutually convenient public location (such as library/café) which will continue for a 12-month period. The mentor will support the execution of the action plan and work with the mentee through the guided programme.
Mentors - who we're looking for:
We are looking for caring, reliable people who want to have a positive impact on people being released from prison.
We will provide the resources and the training needed, the mentors bring life skills and experience along with reliability, empathy, communication skills, and most importantly a desire to help and advocate for your mentee.
Mentees - who we're supporting:
Every mentee we walk alongside has participated in Life101’s life skills programmes (or is seeking the opportunity to do so), and has been referred to us because they have a strong desire for change but lack the necessary support to do so.
The Momentum programme is unique providing a mentoring blueprint and actionable modules. It begins with a two day initial training program for mentors, along with ongoing support, training and guidance during the program. The mentor works with the mentee to form a plan pre-release in prison. Post release the mentor will be expected to meet regularly with the mentee in cafes or libraries, to support the execution of this plan and working through the program modules together. While completing the program, the mentor will providing necessary relational support as well as advocating for their mentee.
The mentor will not be expected to help with issues beyond the course (such as addiction). They will not be assisting with involvement outside the course such as transport either to meetings or elsewhere.
Firstly, commitment and reliability are essential to support an individual. Beyond this the key qualities include empathy and being non-judgemental, recognising everyone makes mistakes and your role is support and guidance rather than criticism. Good communication skills, you should be able to actively listen, offer clear instructions and offer positive feedback. Patience and flexibility as the journey can be challenging and non linear. Finally, cultural sensitivity to be able to recognise and appreciate the diverse backgrounds and experiences of mentees.
The Momentum program contains all the information and resources required. Training and guidance will also be provided so that the mentors are equipped with everything they need to support the mentee over the program. The only skills and qualities needed are those mentioned above.
Mentors typically serve in a voluntary capacity and are not compensated for their role. The mentorship relationship is built on the willingness of individuals to share time, knowledge, and guidance to support others in their personal and professional growth. It is a voluntary commitment driven by a genuine desire to make a positive impact and help others succeed.
The first three months are structured around monthly meetings inside the prison. Following release there are weekly meetings for 6 weeks and then fortnightly meetings for an additional 6 weeks.
After this period the mentorship will define the regularity of meetings until the program conclusion and graduation 12 months post release.
If you have any questions or would like an information pack please contact us at
or phone 021 0840 3299
What is next from here?
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, you’ll fill out a short form providing us with your details and answering a couple of our initial screening questions. If you’re ready to get started, click here to complete the form.
If you pass the pre-screening questions you will be emailed an application form to complete. We use the information you provide to help with mentee matching, vetting and our face-to-face interview with you.
The interview process will help both of us decide whether mentoring is the right fit for you. It’s an opportunity to chat about who you are, what’s important to you and for us to answer any questions you may have.
Based on the outcome of your interview, you’ll be invited to attend our next training weekend (2 days). This intensive training is designed to provide you with the essential skills, tools and resources needed to be an effective mentor.
Following the training weekend, both parties have the opportunity to consider if the mentor programme is the right fit for them. At any stage of the process you can choose to not continue on with becoming a mentor, and that’s totally fine.
After the training, we will match you with a person in prison. We’ll discuss the potential match with you and then book in a time for you (and us) to meet your potential mentee in prison. Then, both parties will decide if they want to proceed together or not.
During the next session (again with us) in prison, the goal is to create your mentee’s pre and post-release plans using our mentoring blueprint and resources. Following this, you’ll have 2-3 more sessions together to help prepare them for their release day.
After your mentee’s release, your 12-month mentoring period begins. During what will initially be weekly sessions, you’ll work through your mentee’s workbook (structured plan you’ve created) to help them achieve practical milestones, while also providing relational support and guidance as needed. Click here to get started on your journey.