At the core of the program is the belief that each child has different needs to be addressed and talents to be fostered. Amachi mentors help children of incarcerated parents by providing tailored support, guidance, and encouragement to allow them to see beyond the turmoil of incarceration.
Amachi Missouri was created and launched in 2003 by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (St. Louis metro region and Cape Girardeau and Scott Counties). In 2006, the program expanded to a statewide partnership to include Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates in Columbia, Jefferson City, Kansas City, and Springfield.
In addition to supporting children during parent incarceration, Amachi Missouri also assists families in the transition period when parents are released from prison. The program encourages open communication with family members and mentors with the purpose of fostering trusting and enduring relationships before parent release thus making parent reentry less stressful for the family.
Missouri Amachi was recognized by Blueprint for Violence Prevention (US Department of Justice) as a best practice program in preventing juvenile delinquency—the first step to preventing young people from entering the adult correction system.