Mentorship Program Requirements
The RNHF Veteran Mentor Program
The Veteran Treatment Court expects that the RNHF will assign a Veteran Mentor (a fellow U.S. military veteran) to every participating justice-involved Mentee. A Veteran Mentor serves as the Veteran Mentee’s personal ally, advocate, guide, mentor, and process navigator.
Goals of the Veteran Mentor
To serve as an ally and guide, helping Veteran Mentees successfully adjust to a stable civilian life.
Veterans Mentor Program Description
The VTC network functions best when a cooperative and collaborative harmony exists among the criminal justice system, the Veteran Treatment Court, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the varied veteran service organizations, and the community treatment agencies providing structured comprehensive care and treatment. The court-appoints Veteran as Mentors, who volunteer their time assisting the court, supporting the participating Veteran Mentees, and providing appropriate recommendations, guidance and feedback. Veteran Mentors come forth from varied veterans’ service organizations and the Inland Empire community. These Veteran Mentors have honorably served in all branches of the U.S. military during both peacetime and combat. Please understand that Veteran Mentors with combat experience are preferred.
The Veteran Mentor serves as a coach, ally, role model, advocate, process navigator, battle-buddy, and supportive guide for Veteran Mentee(s) as they progress together through the structured, yet customized, court-directed treatment plan. Each Veteran Mentor is formally trained in refining interpersonal skills including: listening to concerns, assisting the Veteran Mentee(s) by defining his or her needs, guiding the Veteran Mentee especially when feeling isolated, depressed, unsure or confused, recommending more-suitable alternative courses of action, and providing proactive and relevant encouragement and empowerment.
Generally, Veteran Mentee(s) seem to be more comfortable interacting with fellow military veterans more so than with civilians. Quite commonly, a Veteran Mentee simply seeks someone who is deemed trustworthy; someone who can be a champion for hope. The Veteran Mentors seem to be more effective when participating and interacting as a caring, supportive peer rather than as an authority figure.
Veteran Mentors promote and generate a positive “can do” attitude within each participating veteran. Hopefully, each Veteran Mentee becomes inspired with sufficient self-motivation, confidence, and moral courage to successfully achieve his/her treatment goals, feels that he/she is not alone, and is assured that the Veteran Mentor Program and VTC exist for Veteran Mentees.
Each Veteran Mentee’s evolving progress becomes an opportunity to create desirable life-changing results. Mentors are an essential component to Mentee success. When these critical personal relationships are maintained throughout the treatment care plan, the likelihood of a veteran remaining faithful to treatment increases; thereby improving his or her chances of long-term appropriate behavior modification, self-sustaining sobriety, and law-abiding behavior.
Each Veteran Mentor candidate must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the section “Veteran Mentor Requirements” (immediately below) to participate in this program. Exception-to-policy appeals may be reviewed, and discussed by the VTC Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator.
Veteran Mentor Requirements
- Be a military veteran of the United States Armed Forces: the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, their respective reserve commands, the Army National Guard, or the Air National Guard. Combat experience is preferred.
- Be in good standing with the law.
- Display a genuine care and concern for the Veteran Mentees participating in the program.
- Adhere to each respective county’s VTC program’s policies and procedures.
- Commit to participating for a minimum service term of one (1) year, or until the assigned participant(s) graduates.
- Complete the initial training as deemed by the VTC prior to full mentorship participation.
- Complete any additional training as deemed by the VTC.
- Do not engage in any drug usage, alcohol usage, sexual activities or other unlawful activities with the participating Veteran Mentees.
- Notify the Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator whenever any participant displays suicidal symptoms, may seek to harm others, or engages in unlawful activities.
Veteran Mentor Duties and Responsibilities
- Communicate with each assigned Veteran Mentee for at least one hour each week.
- Be supportive and understanding of the difficulties and challenges facing Veteran Mentees.
- Assist Veteran Mentees in resolving any concerns regarding VTC procedures and directives.
- Be supportive and helpful to fellow Veteran Mentors.
- Help recruit new Veteran Mentor candidates.
Veteran Mentor Desirable Qualities
- Honorable military service and combat experience.
- A positive, caring, optimistic, supportive, encouraging, and empowering attitude
- Patient and persistent with empathetic active listening.
- Tolerant and respectful of individual differences.
- Knowledgeable of community resources, services, and procedures.
Each Veteran Mentor candidate must satisfy a VTC-managed screening process conducted by the respective Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator for either Riverside County or San Bernardino County. The decision to accept or deny any candidate will jointly be made by the Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator, the Program Director, and the VTC Judge. The decision to provide or to withhold feedback regarding a denial rests solely at the discretion of the VTC Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator, the Program Director, and the VTC Judge.
The Volunteer Mentor eligibility screening process includes, but is not limited to:
- Submitting a fully-completed written application.
- Participating in a thorough personal interview(s).
- Agreeing to the completion of a personal investigative background check.
It is crucial that every Volunteer Mentor participates in VTC-directed introductory training and on-going skills sustainment training. Every Veteran Mentor candidate must complete the required initial training before being able to serve as a Veteran Mentor. Introductory training includes but is not limited to:
- Careful observation during multiple VTC sessions.
- Honest, frank discussions of the Veteran Mentor candidate’s observation experiences.
- Participation activity authorizations that are determined by the respective VTC Mentor & Resource Coordinator as each Veteran Mentor candidate advances and develops.
The skill sustainment needs for each Veteran Mentor will be assessed at least annually by the respective Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator.
Knowledge or Awareness of Possible Negative History
Veteran Mentors who have any knowledge or are aware or suspect that any Veteran Mentor candidate has or may have any negative history and/or questionable background must immediately communicate such to the VTC ‘s Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator, the Program Director, and/or the Judge. Withholding such injurious information may jeopardize the VTC Mentor Program, the Veterans Court, and/or the participating veterans.
Unacceptable Behavior Policy
Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated while a Veteran Mentor participates in the Veterans Treatment Court program. Because of the significant direct influence that a Veteran Mentor can have on a Veteran Mentee, behaviors that are not aligned with the mission, vision, goals, and values of the VTC are unacceptable and prohibited. Immediate termination may result.
The VTC Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator
Each Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator must first successfully serve as a Veteran Mentor. These seasoned volunteers are also essential to the success of the VTC ‘s Mentor Program. The Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator is responsible for recruiting, screening, vetting, selecting, and training Veteran Mentor candidates. The Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator trains candidates in all relevant aspects of the Veterans Treatment Court, and coordinates all support activities with the court team staff, court coordinator, and the Judge. The Coordinator supervises the Veteran Mentors, and schedules their court session assignments.
Veteran Mentor & Resource Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities
- Recruit, screen, vet, select, and train the volunteer Veteran Mentor candidates.
- Plan, organize, coordinate, and conduct training for Veteran Mentor candidates.
- Supervise and schedule fully-trained Veteran Mentors.
- Assist in developing specialized training programs, as needs may develop.
- Perform all duties that may be assigned by the Program Director and/or the Judge.
- Sustain and improve the Veteran Mentor Program.
- Assist in the retention of Veteran Mentors.
- Plan and conduct Veteran Mentor recognition activities at least once annually.
Each VTC Mentor & Resource Coordinator is responsible for recruiting new candidates. The VTC team, including its collaborative partners, are strongly encouraged to refer reputable and highly-respected local military veterans to the VTC Mentor Program. Additionally, VTC team members are strongly encouraged to attend and host informational sessions and training for potential Veteran Mentors. For more information regarding the Veteran Mentor Program, to obtain an application, or to recommend Veteran Mentor candidates, please contact the Program Director: Gregory R. Coker Sergeant Major, US Army (ret) Reaching New Heights Foundation, Inc. 4053 Chestnut St., Suite 203 Riverside, CA, 92501 Office: (951) 878-6900 Cell: (909) 518-4951 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org