Dave Burbank

The director of Cornell University’s prison education program is leading a campaign to provide more face masks to inmates across New York state.

Rob Scott with Cornell said 225 inmates in the Finger Lakes region were enrolled in the school's prison education program for the spring semester. 

However, because of the pandemic, classes have ended. Scott said online instruction is not available for incarcerated students.

It all started with a group of about ten people eager to give back by helping others move forward. They were trained and equipped to take on the proud label of: mentor. Their “mentees” on the other hand had a different type of label, one associated with a host of stigmas due to a troubled past. The mentors: Rochester residents. The “mentees”: ex-offenders returning to the community from time served behind bars. That small group was the first class of mentors for the Judicial Process Commission’s Adult Mentoring Program. It launched more than 20 years ago.

On this edition of Need to Know we hear from a mentor- “mentee” partnership who describe how their relationship has influenced both of their lives. We’ll also learn whether mentoring programs are effective and how they impact the community at-large.