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Crime, Courts and Christ: The Story of Christian Mentoring in Misdemeanor Courts

NCJ Number
Keith J. Leenhouts
Date Published
January 2000
104 pages
This document is intended for use in courses on rehabilitation and evangelism attended by Christian students in colleges, universities, and seminaries and aims to increase their involvement as mentors in misdemeanor courts.
The author is a former judge who is now director of court volunteer services at the National Judicial College. The first chapter reports a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that compared two misdemeanor courts. The court with routine probation experienced 270 convictions for 270 repeat misdemeanors for every 100 probationers over 5 years, whereas the court that used volunteers and community resources experienced only 23 repeat convictions. However, most misdemeanor courts have no probation or have such high caseloads that the probation officer meets with probationers only 1 day a week. The remaining chapters explain the uses of retired and currently working professionals and other volunteers for pre-sentence investigations, employment counseling, mental health services, victim services, administrative support, and other functions. The final chapters discuss the role of religious faith, explain the importance of love in addressing crime, and describe how the friendship that develops through the mentoring role leads to an opportunity for volunteers to share their faith with the probationer both verbally and by example. Attached background information and resource request form