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Youth Justice Mentoring Program

Stabilizing youth in crisis by providing positive relationships with adult mentors who promote personal growth and development.

Eligibility and referrals

The Youth Justice Mentoring Program (YJM) serves youth aged 11-19 who are detained in San Francisco Juvenile Hall and are at-risk of further justice involvement, and are not otherwise receiving visits during visiting hours.

To make a referral or a request for services please contact Kimo Uila at (415) 621-5661 x. 101 or

How it works

CJCJ pairs culturally appropriate volunteer mentors with currently detained youth to provide weekly mentoring support for at least one year, both in detention and in the community upon release. Services are provided Monday through Friday, 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Mentoring services include:

  • Needs/strengths assessment using the validated Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS)
  • Development of a treatment plan
  • Pre- and post-release support 

Linkages to:

  • Mental health services
  • Education
  • Vocational training
  • Case management
  • Substance abuse treatment

The youth’s family is encouraged to participate in the treatment plan. YJM services are gender-responsive and culturally competent.  We specialize in the different needs that male and female youth have during adolescence and pair mentees with mentors of the same gender and, as much as possible, from similar cultural backgrounds. These mentors are often university students interested in a career in a related field or community members passionate about helping these youths.

CJCJ staff provide mentors with a 3-day initial orientation and ongoing supervision throughout the program. Mentors use the YJM curriculum to help the youth gain new life skills, learn how to set and achieve goals, and gain more insight into their current life situations.

Interested in being a volunteer mentor? Eligible YJM volunteer mentors must: 

  • Be age 21 or older
  • Commit to six months – one year of volunteering
  • Be available for at least two consecutive hours a week Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 8:00 pm, or Saturday/Sunday, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. 

YJM accepts volunteer applications January through the end of February, and August through the end of September. Read our description of the volunteer program and Apply Now >>


Formerly a Youth Justice Institute (YJI) program, San Francisco’s in-detention mentoring services began in January 2001. At that time, the female youth in San Francisco detention centers were isolated due to a lack of family visits and support services. The mentoring program began by employing three female students from San Francisco State University as mentors to female youth in the maximum-security unit. The program steadily expanded to youth in other units. In 2002, YJI began mentoring young men inside the maximum-security unit. In July 2013, CJCJ successfully assumed operation of YJI's mentoring services.

Kimo Uila, Director of Juvenile Justice Services
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
40 Boardman Place
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 621-5661 ext. 101
Fax: (415) 621-5466

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