Justice & Mentoring

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two individuals smiling
two individuals smiling
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Justice & Mentoring

Effective supports to help people in rebuilding their lives

The Vermont Women's Mentoring Program provides powerful supports for individuals who are justice-involved, in transition from prison, treatment court, addiction, and/or mental health crises.


Advocating for people with unmet needs

We firmly believe in the dignity of every person. People can change their lives for the better and become self-sufficient. This happens in the presence of compassion, support, education, and accountability. Mercy Connections collaborates with many local non-profits, courts, and state government to successfully improve women’s lives and strengthen community. We also advocate and speak to justice issues, such as maternal incarceration, whenever possible.

Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program

Mercy Connections partners with the Vermont Department of Corrections and others to mentor women+ reentering society from the correctional facility. These women face significant barriers finding safe, affordable housing, employment and employment training, staying in recovery and the stigma associated with crime. Many live with significant mental health challenges, are estranged from family and do not have a safety net of friends on which to rely. Mentors become healthy new companions and serve as hosts in seeking out healthy, new ways to spend leisure time and build social capital.

Our mentors come from all walks of life. We provide a 5-week training program and ongoing support. We match mentees and mentors carefully to help ensure a mutually beneficial experience and ask them to meet a minimum of once a month for a year. Our mentors often say the experience is rewarding and life-changing and that they learn a great deal about matters concerning incarceration and restorative justice. Our mentees talk things over with their mentors and seek their support in staying accountable to their goals.

Reach out to learn more! 

Contact Joanne Nelson, Director of Justice & Mentoring at jnelson@mercyconnections.org or call (802) 846-7164

“I know if I was struggling with anything, I could call my mentor and she would do anything she could to help me through it. I have been clean and sober for a little over four years. I am also working with Mercy Connections to become a mentor myself. I cannot wait to start helping others like they have helped me.”

- Tricia, Former Mentee

Learn more and apply for a mentor by contacting Kelly Moran by email or call (802) 846-7164