Home > Reducing youth crime: the role of mentoring.

O'Dwyer, Kieran (2019) Reducing youth crime: the role of mentoring. Irish Probation Journal, 16, pp. 153-167.

External website: https://www.pbni.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12...

This article discusses the role of mentoring in reducing youth crime, drawing on a 2016 evaluation of Le Chéile mentoring services in the Republic of Ireland. There are many studies of mentoring of ‘at risk’ children and young people, which show a range of benefits when good practice is followed. There are fewer studies of mentoring of young offenders, and results are less clear-cut – variously described as ‘promising’, ‘mixed’, ‘indirect’, ‘modest’, ‘tantalising’ or lacking clear evidence.


The Le Chéile evaluation identified benefits that included reductions in offending behaviour. The article examines the reasons for the equivocation about mentoring outcomes in other jurisdictions and explores possible reasons for Le Chéile’s positive results. It discusses a number of themes, including the importance of volunteer mentors, the building of relationships of trust, the balance between listening and challenging, and the importance of commitment and perseverance. It also considers the nature of mentor support and transitions out of mentoring. Other themes discussed briefly are the integration of child and parent mentoring, earlier intervention, and mentoring of children in care and detention.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Treatment method, Crime prevention
Page Range
pp. 153-167
The Probation Service

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