Role Models or Gateways to Resources?: Contemporary Confusions in Mentoring Practice



Tolland H & Malloch M (2019) Role Models or Gateways to Resources?: Contemporary Confusions in Mentoring Practice. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 58 (4), pp. 496-512.

Mentoring has become increasingly popular in recent years in the criminal justice system, presented across the UK and internationally as a service that can address the specific ‘needs’ of women involved with the criminal justice system. This article draws on original qualitative research with mentors and mentees to explore their experiences and to establish the aims and processes of mentoring. The rhetoric of mentoring offered by mentors and staff suggested that mentoring was based on an individualistic approach that contained responsibilising strategies. In practice, however, mentors were helping women to resolve issues related to the welfare system and other services outwith the criminal justice system. If positive outcomes of mentoring are viewed by policy makers to be the result of an individualistic approach aimed at fostering ‘pro-social’ interventions, rather than the result of attempts to mitigate wider structural failures outwith the criminal justice system, then this takes responsibility away from the state and distracts from the deeper effects of criminalising processes.

women; mentoring; criminal justice; community support

Howard Journal of Criminal Justice: Volume 58, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online26/08/2019
Date accepted by journal14/03/2019

People (1)


Professor Margaret Malloch

Professor Margaret Malloch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology