Prisoners Mentor Project Information PackDocument Transcript
Welcome to the Mosaic Network!
Thank you for your interest in supporting the Mosaic Young Muslim Offenders
Programme. This pack provides more details of the programme and the role to be
played by mentors and Job Coaches in this important new initiative for the Mosaic
“There are very real issues facing those returning to mainstream
society after time in prison. We need to help these individuals lead
productive lives in the future, rather than falling prey to negative
influences. This exciting project aims to provide opportunities for
successful people to support members of their communities at a
time when they are most need of the support of their community. I
urge you to get involved.”
Iqbal Wahhab - Founder, Roast Restaurant and Mosaic
As a Mosaic member, you will become part of a wide network of individuals who will
help to raise the aspirations of young Muslims living in deprived areas in the UK. By
mentoring, you will make a real difference to your local community. You will also have
the opportunity to meet other like-minded colleagues through a range of volunteering
opportunities and networking events which will be posted on the Mosaic website at
www.mosaicnetwork.co.uk. Please check the site regularly.
If, having read the information contained in this pack, you wish to pursue your interest
in the Mosaic Young Muslim Offenders Programme we would ask you to complete the
application form that accompanies this pack. For further information, please contact
Jonathan Freeman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With kind regards,
The Mosaic team
Mosaic: The Muslim Mentoring Initiative.
The Mosaic Mentoring Programme is an initiative led by HRH The Prince of Wales and
is convened by Business in the Community, one of The Prince’s charities. Business in
the Community support and challenge companies to integrate responsible business
through their operations in order to have a positive impact on society and therefore be of
Mosaic was launched in November 2007 to challenge the growing concern of the issues
facing young Muslims living in deprived areas of Britain today. It is a national
programme which focused initially in four areas of the UK - London, Bradford, Burnley
and Leicester – but is now expanding to cover areas including the West Midlands. The
aim of Mosaic is to develop as a network of multiple, Muslim-led initiatives which aims to
work towards a more integrated and thriving society where all individuals regardless of
background are supported in realizing their potential. One if its key functions is to
encourage linkages between successful Muslim professionals and disadvantaged young
Muslims, in order to raise aspirations and increase access to opportunities for education
Mentoring offers an excellent tool to increase self-esteem, aspiration and achievement
to young people. It works by providing a positive role model as a mentor, who supports
the mentee in their decision making for their future, offering insights and experience
from their own life. The effect of role modelling is particularly powerful in Mosaic
mentoring, where mentor and mentee share the common link of being Muslim.
Mentoring benefits include:
Increase in levels of self esteem and confidence
Access to opportunities in education and employment
Discover career options and experience the working world
Raise academic achievement
Make a difference!
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is a role model, a guide, a motivator, and a listener. Today, mentors provide
their expertise to less experienced individuals in areas in need of guidance and support
such as in their careers, education, and to build their networks. Your role is to build a
relationship of mutual trust with your mentee and act as an effective role model for
them. This will include listening to and advising them whilst demonstrating an
understanding of the problems and challenges they face. Coming from a similar
background to the mentee may help the mentee to understand and to see what they
Why become a Mentor?
It is incredibly fulfilling to be a part of a young person’s life when they are going through
the important stage of deciding on their hopes and aspirations for the future, and how
they might go about achieving them. You can be an integral part of helping them to
expand their vision, gain self confidence and fulfilment of their ambitions.
Being a mentor develops valuable skills which are highly transferrable into all spheres of
life, particularly in communication, managing others, and problem solving.
What is expected of me as a Mentor?
In general, we are looking for those who are willing and able to offer their time to inspire
young people and broaden their horizons of education and employment opportunities.
For this programme, we ask that all volunteers commit to a minimum of 12 months and
would expect mentors to be available at least once a month for face-to-face mentoring
The Mentor Job description
• A positive, non-judgemental and patient attitude towards young people
• A desire to help in the educational and personal development of young people
• Open and approachable with a willingness to share your experiences when
• The ability to get along with young people and have a respectful attitude towards
people of different educational, economic, cultural and racial backgrounds.
• Understand the needs and issues faced by young, British Muslims
• An ability to commit the required amount of time
What you can expect from Mosaic
• Training about being a Mentor
• Preparation before meeting your mentee
• Ongoing support if you have any questions/concerns
• Co-ordination with the offender institution regarding any particular subjects which
should be covered or any other relevant information required.
• Opportunity to meet other mentors
Young Muslim Offenders Mentoring
In a unique partnership, Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH), Mosaic and Business in the
Community (BITC) are launching a new project to provide focused support and
mentoring opportunities to Muslim prisoners around the vulnerable period of transition
from prison back to society.
As of April 2008, the number of Muslim prisoners in prisons in England and Wales on
remand was 1,662, and the number of Muslim prisoners under immediate custodial
sentence was 7,340, representing 2% and 9% respectively of the total prison population
(82,319). Muslims therefore constitute nearly 10% of the male and female prison
population, exceeding by three times their representation in the wider population. There
is growing evidence of the particularly acute difficulties faced by Muslim prisoners
returning to mainstream society and, as a consequence, their vulnerability to negative
influences. Muslim prisoners suffer from particular problems when returning to society,
given the social stigma that often attaches to them within their communities.
In 2004, Muslim Youth Helpline launched its inaugural “Behind Bars” campaign during
Ramadan to raise awareness of the pressures for Muslim prisoners. With the support of
Muslim chaplains and Muslim communities, the campaign developed with gift packages
and messages of support being distributed to 1053 Muslims in 19 prisons in 2005, gift
boxes being sent to 2500 prisoners in 2006 and 3000 boxes being sent to Muslims in 51
institutions in 2007. Following the 2006 campaign, MYH undertook an evaluation of the
campaign distributing a survey questionnaire to 400 prisoners, of which 328 were
completed. Key statistics revealed by this survey include the following:
• 30% of Muslim prisoners responding felt that the Muslim community could
have played a better role in keeping them out of prison;
• 35% of those responding were re-offenders;
• of re-offenders, 63% did not find the support they needed upon leaving
prison the first time;
• of re-offenders, 82% felt quite strongly that faith-sensitive, community
support upon exiting prison would have prevented them from re-offending;
• there was nearly unanimous support in the same survey to the question
asking whether prisoners would support a prison mentoring programme.
Our Young Muslim Offenders Mentoring Programme will support 16-25 year-old offenders at the
end of their custodialasentence, providing themfor me to help make a difference to peoplethrough
“This is really exciting opportunity with a trained mentor to support them in the
the difficult transition back into society and, will be challenging but incredibly rewarding.” operate
way they need. I know that this particularly, the workplace. The project will
in five locations: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Leicester. The programme
aims to provide support for some 50 prisoners in the first year, building to around 100 prisoners
Head of Communications, Africa Directorate, Department for International Development
each year by the third year of the programme. Of
these, we will seek to place at least half on Ready for Work schemes.
The mentoring role
Mentoring will start up to 6 months before a prisoner is due for release and would be expected
to continue for a similar period after release. Mentors will start by visiting the client in prison in
order to build trust, gain a better understanding of the client’s needs and help prepare them for
release. Mentors will be encouraged to make contact with the relevant Prisoner Service
Offender Manager and Muslim chaplains working in the institution.
Following release, mentors will continue to support the client through the provision of emotional
support, seeking workplace opportunities and general support around housing, education and
Crucially, the mentoring arrangement will link into Business in the Community’s ‘Ready for
Work’ programme. Ready for Work is an established, business-led, work placement
programme aimed at helping socially excluded groups gain and sustain employment. It
combines a two-day employability based training course, a structured two-week work placement
and up to six months of individual support from a job coach.
As well as those willing to act as mentors, therefore, we are also looking to recruit those who
would also be able to act as Ready for Work Job Coaches. Job coaching is a unique
opportunity to use existing skills, gained in the work place, to help an unemployed client gain
and sustain employment. As well as developing communication, management and
interpersonal skills, you will help your client build their confidence and motivation to move into
employment. Coaches commit to supporting a client for a six month period. Following a full day
of training, you will meet you client on a regular basis for the first nine weeks before planning
the next steps forward. These may include coaching sessions over the phone or more practical
support on CVs and interviews.
We are working closely with Her Majesty’s Prison Service, Muslim chaplains and others in the
field to ensure we deliver a programme that meets the needs of prisoners at the same time as
ensuring effective support for those undertaking mentoring of this vulnerable group.
All mentors will receive the following training and support:
• faith-based support training, provided by Muslim Youth Helpline;
• introductory mentoring training, provided by Mosaic;
• prison awareness sessions organised by HM Prison Service;
• support from prison chaplains and Prison Service Offender Managers;
• regular contact with the Prisoners’ Project Coordinator.
We are also in the process of exploring the
possibility of additional training sessions on volunteering in prisons and working with ex-
offenders in the community.
As noted above, those mentors willing to act as Job Coaches will also receive a full
Anyone working with HM Prison Service is exempt from the provisions of the
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and must be asked for details about criminal convictions,
cautions and reprimands including those that are spent. This will not necessarily
prevent you from working with the Prison Service. Each case is considered on its own
The mentoring programme will be available to Muslim prisoners aged between 16 and
25 in the institutions detailed below and whom will, on release, reside within reasonable
travelling distance from the following cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford
All categories of prisoners will be eligible for support other than those convicted of
terrorism-related offences. We understand, however, that mentors may have particular
views concerning those convicted of certain offences and we will respect such views in
seeking to match mentors with prisoners.
The project is currently funded to support those prisoners in the following areas:
We are in the process of confirming the specific institutions to be included within the