** Mentoring in the Criminal Justice Professions: Conveyance of the Craft. By Frank A. Colaprete; published by Charles C. Thomas Publisher, www.ccthomas.com (Web); 292 pages; $42.95.
A retired law enforcement officer with 20 years’ experience, Frank A. Colaprete has combined his practical knowledge and theoretical training in a book that walks readers through a process critical to law enforcement: mentoring. The law enforcement hierarchy, he argues, must transition from the institutionalized autocratic leadership to this more worker-appreciated methodology.
The text is well researched and scholarly. Colaprete addresses the subject matter in great depth, beginning with historical perspective, then defining the present-day concept of mentoring, detailing the various phases and stages of the process. He depicts the many faces mentoring can have: traditional and nontraditional, situational and precedent mentorship, and cybermentoring, just to name a few.
In order to have a robust mentoring program, an agency must build from the ground up, properly educating the protégé who will one day become the mentor. Colaprete sets the framework for establishing this transition through formal mentorship programs. He addresses mentor and protégé recruitment, training, and evaluation from conception through implementation.
Colaprete touches briefly on leadership and the mediocrity and failure that run through the law enforcement community, applying his firsthand experiences of the weaknesses that often threaten criminal justice professionals. This text establishes a framework for addressing those types of problems by fostering development and making practitioners more knowledgeable in order to improve performance.
Based on its management-level subject matter and vernacular content, this book best serves an audience at the graduate and administrative levels.
Reviewer: John E. O’Rourke, CPP, is a 25-year veteran of the New Jersey State Police. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Seton Hall University and has authored the book, Jersey Troopers as well as articles on management and leadership. He is chair of the ASIS International Crime and Loss Prevention Council.