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Youth Justice Mentoring Program

Thank you to everyone for your support of CJCJ’s Youth Justice Mentoring (YJM) Program over the years. Sadly, the program has ended. We appreciate your shared passion and support of our youth and our program, but we can no longer support any new mentors or mentees. Other agency volunteer opportunities are posted on our Jobs and Internships webpage and donations to support our continued community efforts are always greatly appreciated. 

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.

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, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 pm to 6:00 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.


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.

Dinky Manek Enty, Deputy Director
Tel: (415) 621-5661 ext. 104
Fax: (415) 621-5466

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
424 Guerrero Street, Suite A
San Francisco, CA 94110

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