Building new lives
beyond prison walls.
Serving holistically from incarceration through transition
COOOL (Changing Our Outlook On Life) is a mentoring program designed to address the needs of young female offenders by providing a role model and mentor, both during incarceration and upon re-entry. Established in February 2009 in conjunction with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, Changed Choices has twice expanded this program, which now reaches female youthful and young adult offenders (ages 16-28) housed in the jail.
Research has shown that one caring adult in the life of a young person can make a tremendous difference. Each mentee meets weekly with an assigned volunteer mentor for the duration of her incarceration. Mentees also participate in a guided journaling group at least once weekly. The COOOL Program is passionate about the education and guidance of young women, helping them to take personal responsibility for their choices, develop decision-making skills and form healthy relationships with themselves and others.
In response to the correlation between substance abuse and criminal thinking and behaviour, COOOL focuses on prevention and education. Equipped with tools that change their outlook on life, these young women can find a new path.