Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Coconino Online Probation Education (COPE)

BJA Program(s): Innovations in Supervision Initiative: Building Capacity to Create Safer Communities
State(s): AZ

Jurisdiction(s): Coconino County, Arizona

Grantee Agency: Coconino County Adult Probation

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2013/$608,966.71

About the Program:

To support probation clients living in the outlying rural areas, Coconino County officials launched an online probation education and virtual mentoring program in 2015 with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Coconino Online Probation Education (COPE) program enables clients who live in rural areas to communicate with mentors, complete online court-related coursework, and participate in cognitive-behavioral groups remotely.

Through COPE, Coconino County partnered with the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association to offer a virtual mentoring component that matches probation clients with mentors who provide support to clients related to issues including employment, parenting, budgeting, housing, education, alcohol and drug abuse, mental health, and other life challenges.

BJA supports COPE through its Innovations in Supervision Initiative, which provides assistance to jurisdictions that implement more effective and evidence-based probation practices that address individuals' needs and reduce recidivism. COPE is 100 percent funded by BJA.

To learn more about COPE, check out our feature story on the program.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

The mentoring aspect of COPE is voluntary; it's not mandated in a client's probation, but since the start of COPE, there have been 15 mentoring relationships established.

Each mentor-mentee relationship starts out as a 6-month commitment, during which the pair will communicate for at least 1 hour once a week. This can be done by talking on the phone, texting, by Skype, or by email. The length of a typical mentoring relationship is hard to determine, as some end when a mentoring participant reoffends, but others have lasted much longer, including one that spanned 2 years.

Of the 15 mentoring relationships established, there are 4 currently ongoing. Two of those four have already hit the 6-month mark and are continuing, indicating that the mentees find value and success in working with their mentors.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Kara McAlister
Program Manager I
Coconino County Adult Probation
Email: kmcalister@coconino.az.gov
Phone: 928-679-8406

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