The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast will conduct mentor training sessions in Belfast beginning Oct. 22.

The sessions will introduce potential mentors to the philosophy and practices of Restorative Justice and to the populations it serves: men who will soon emerge from the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center and rejoin the community, and youth who are taking responsibility for causing harm by participating in our Restorative Conferencing Program.

The mentor and mentee meet for an hour or so every week and seek to establish a meaningful relationship. For Reentry Center residents, the mentor is a resource to help the resident find a job, housing and services and to help them transition back into society; the resident is a fellow human with a life and a story, usually an interesting one.

For young offenders in the Restorative Conferencing Program, caring relationships with mentors help them to sustain motivation and build self-esteem, as well as repair the harm they caused.

The first training session, which doubles as an information session, will be Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Belfast, 95 High St. A light supper will be provided.

Interested participants are invited to complete the rest of the training on Wednesday, Oct. 29, and Wednesday, Nov. 5, also from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Anyone wishing to mentor should plan to attend all sessions. Make-up sessions can be arranged. For more information or to RSVP, contact Hanlon at hanlon@rjpmidcoast.org, or 338-2742 ext. 101.