9 Yards Mentoring Program

     The 9 Yards Mentoring Program is part of a comprehensive re-entry program providing one-on-one and group mentoring to 15 men as part of a process designed to make sure that they never go back to prison. As part of 9 Yards, each participant will be paired up with a mentor to help provide them with support, role modeling, and friendship as they deal with the challenges of life after prison. By beginning these relationships inside the prison and working with mentees over the course of two years, the 9 Yards program assists in supporting the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals into their communities. 

 9 Yards Mentoring is looking for mentors that we can really match up according to the skills and interests of participants.  We are in particular looking for mentors with interests/experience in welding, engineering, culinary arts, or physical therapy or personal training.

Contact Nick Horton at 401-781-7808 ext. 127 or nhorton@opendoorsri.org for more information

Program Goals: 

  • Build positive social networks and supports for individuals returning from prison.
  • Expand community awareness and investment in reentry.
  • Improve access to services available to the formerly incarcerated by providing intense supervision, education, employment, housing, and counseling. 

Mentor Criteria:

  • Be at least 27 years old
  • Agree to meet with their mentee a minimum of twice a month for at least 2 months prior to release and 6 months after release
  • Have a desire to make a difference in your community

We strongly encourage individuals with a criminal record or history of substance abuse to apply. Please see additional criteria: 

  • No felony conviction in past 2 years *
  • Have not been incarcerated in the past 2 years *
  • 2 years sobriety * 

* Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis

Time Commitment: 

     Mentors and mentees make a commitment to meet twice a month over a 10 month period. For the first 4 or more months, mentors will establish contact while mentees are still in prison through mail and visits. Mentees will be released from prison in the spring of 2014, and for at least 6 months post-release, mentors will take an active supporting role in the lives of their mentees through face to face meetings and activities. 

Screening/Matching Process:

Both mentors and mentees are required to participate in a thorough screening process which includes attending an orientation, participating in a face-to-face interview, and completing an initial training. Once mentors and mentees are trained, they will be matched and an introductory meeting will be scheduled. 

Mentors will receive training prior to matching, and continuing support and training through monthly Mentor Meetings. OpenDoors will host open hours and activities on-site for mentors and mentees, and will provide opportunities for mentors and mentees to attend and participate in sporting events, entertainment, and outdoor activities (see below list). 


  • OpenDoors BBQs                                        
  • Poker/Game nights
  • Trips to the Roger Williams Zoo 
  • Waterfire 
  • Movie Tickets 
  • Tickets to the Newport Jazz Festival 
  • Cultural festivals: Cape Verdean Independence Day, Dominican Parade, Emancipation Day Celebration, Annual Festival Peruano
  • Marathons and 5ks
  • Tickets to PawSox games
  • Admission to Brown University and Providence College basketball games 
  • Memberships and day passes to Boston Sports Club and other local gyms


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