What’s Youth Mentoring


The Youth Mentor Program was founded in 1992 in Richland County, South Carolina, as a community response to the increase in juvenile crime and incarceration. As a commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people, the Office of the Attorney General adopted the program in September 1995, with an immediate goal of statewide expansion. A voluntary program, the mentor approach links the offending juvenile to a religious or civic organization where an individual mentor will be assigned to him/her. The mentor monitors the personal and academic development of the youth for six months to one year as ordered by the court. The program was unanimously passed into law in May 1996. The bipartisan support of the program by elected officials is a testimony to the commitment to recognize and respond to the short-term and long-term impact of juvenile crime upon our communities.


The First Judicial Circuit Youth Mentor Program focuses primarily on the repeat, nonviolent offender. Occasionally, the first-time offender will be accepted through the recommendation of family court officials. Voluntary assignments will be considered through parental request.
In several counties, truancy has been identified as a serious contributor to the problem of juvenile delinquency. The First Judicial Circuit Youth Mentor Program works with schools and court officials to reduce the truancy rate and improve academics of students referred by truancy officers.

Youth Placement

Candidates for the First Judicial Circuit Youth Mentor Program are recommended by the Family Court officials and the Program Coordinator. Time in the program-usually six months to one year- is based on several factors including the severity of the crime, family support, academic compliance, etc. Local religious and community organizations provide volunteer mentors who monitor the fulfillment of the program requirements.

Services Provided

  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Leadership Skills
  • Goal Setting
  • Career Advice
  • Conflict Resolution


The goal of the First Judicial Circuit Youth Mentor Program is to reduce the juvenile incarceration and recidivism rate in the First Circuit, and to provide our youth with the necessary values, motivation, and awareness of personal responsibility to guide him/her towards productive and positive citizenship. Religious and civic organizations are needed to provide volunteer mentors and service as sponsoring sites. To enroll your group, or for more information, please call:

There is no initial enrollment fee for our Juvenile Diversion programs, however, a fee for removal of the charge from the juvenile’s record may apply at the appropriate time.