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Mentoring programs provide disadvantaged, at-risk, and adjudicated youth with positive role models that can bestow support and guidance (Grossman & Tierney, 1998). The mentoring phenomenon has grown tremendously with over 5,000 mentoring programs in the United States and serving about 3 million juveniles (MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, 2006). Additionally, mentoring yields numerous positive outcomes, such as dissuading risky behavior and advocating prosocial behavior (Haddock et al., 2017). The current literature focuses on mentor, mentee and parental perspectives on mentoring programs with little information about probation officers. The current study relied on in-depth interviews with six probation officers who referred juvenile probationers to Interconnections, a university-based mentoring program. The findings revealed two main themes in probation officers’ perceptions about Interconnections (1) opportunities (e.g., positive relationships and college/life opportunities) and (2) challenges (e.g., length of program and communication with program). Due to the challenges perceived with Interconnections, it’s recommended that mentoring programs establish communication protocols and increase the length of their programs.

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Available for download on Monday, December 13, 2021