Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice (M.S.)

Degree Program

School of Criminal Justice

First Advisor

John Walsh

Second Advisor

Jaclyn Cwick

Third Advisor

Patrick Gerkin

Academic Year



Within the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the local Women’s Resource Center (WRC) fosters a mentoring program, New Beginnings (NB), with the goal to assist recently released jailed women to successfully reintegrate by achieving reentry goals. The following study examines how gender-responsive offender mentoring influences the success of women achieving reentry goals and reentering society. This study uses data from WRC that shows how many hours 78 mentees spent with their mentors before and after they were released from the Kent County jail and if reentry goals were met. It is hypothesized that total, pre-, and post-release hours mentors and mentees spend with each other is positively related to the achievement of reentry goals (i.e. employment, schooling, housing, sobriety, increased social capital). Furthermore, it is hypothesized that post-release hours are most influential due to mentors and mentees bonding with each other in a community setting. Results indicate that total, pre-, and post-release hours are significantly related to the achievement of reentry goals. Particularly, for every hour a mentee spends with her mentor post-release, her odds of achieving her reentry goals increase 5.5 times. Findings are consistent with social learning and social capital theory.