Mentoring in the Criminal Justice Professions: Conveyance of the Craft, by Frank A. Colaprete, Springfield, Ill., Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 2009, 292 pp.
The building of legacies is something many of us who have dedicated our careers to the criminal justice system feel very passionate about. As such, Frank Colaprete's book looked like a fairly interesting entry into the criminal justice lexicon, and I thought my review of the 300 pages would be a piece of cake. I sure was wrong. Generally I can pick up any book of that length and finish it within a week, but in the case of Mentoring in the Criminal Justice Professions: Conveyance of the Craft, it took me more than a month just to plow through the text. That is not to say there are not very valuable insights in the text that, anyone desiring to start a mentoring program might want to review--but trying to find them can be difficult. The forward of the book says, "Dr. Colaprete has brought academic and applied knowledge and skill to the pages of this book." While this is certainly true, trying to mix them in the same paragraph can sometimes lead to confusion.
One of the strongest chapters, and one that would make a very fine journal article, is called, "The Positive and Negative Aspects of Mentoring." It discusses the philosophy of mentoring, multigenerational mentoring and barriers to mentoring. The review of the Center for Creative Leadership's 10 principles to help managers work and lead employees of all generations was itself well worth the read. These principles remind us that everyone wants respect, that trust matters, that everyone wants leaders who are credible, that most people do not like change and that everyone wants to learn.
There are other gems found in the text, like discussions of changing behaviors, values, vision, mission, goals and objectives. Also, the material on learning styles is very good. It explains that everyone not only learns differently but that everyone has different strengths, which need to be tapped. The idea of differential management of learning can be translated to the differential management of people. Everyone has their own style and their way of being motivated. Knowles' definition of andragogy (adult learning) and the examination of self-direction on how to make mentoring effective, are important parts of the discussion that Colaprete includes. However, it would have been much more beneficial to the reader if Colaprete had taken these theories and demonstrated...