Maine’s Credible Messenger Movement is committed to connect all justice involved youth with safe adults. In Maine, the Division of Juvenile Services, recognizes the fundamental and core values of the Credible Messenger Movement as it pertains to our unique population. With that, Maine Credible Messenger Movement will expand into four areas: Young Messengers, Support Mentors, Professional Allies, and Adult Credible Messengers. Defined below:
- Adult Credible Messengers are mentors who have previously been involved in the criminal justice or juvenile justice system. These adults will utilize their lived experience to mentor justice-involved youth in their communities. Due to these like experiences, these mentors will be able to form transformative and powerful relationships with the youth, imbed hope, and reconnect with the communities.
- Young Messengers: Young Messengers are youth who are currently and previously incarcerated who want a chance to use their experience as peer support to other youth. They will receive training in mentoring, basic life skills and work force development.
- Support Mentors: Support Mentors are individuals who want to be a positive role model and guide youth in the right direction throughout the challenges of life. They will not necessarily share the same life experiences but can volunteer their time as mentors.
- Professional Allies: Professional Allies can be individuals, programs, providers, and agency who will use their professional experiences and resources to support Credible Messengers and Young Messengers through trainings, career opportunities and resources.
- Specialized Sectors: Substance Use, Domestic Violence/Violence, Disproportionate Minority Contact, Sexual Assault, Exploitation and Trafficking, and Family Support.
Credible Messengers will collaborate with Juvenile Community Corrections Officers and community providers to support the youth. They will advocate for youth in a range of circumstances from school meetings to court appearances. Credible Messenger programming will continuously adjust to the needs of the youth while providing a reliable and sustainable structure that allows youth growth.