This New Act Would Make Mentoring Kids A Legal Reason For Avoiding Jury Duty

Jury duty is a citizen’s noble act of participation in the legal system to decide the fate and punishment of his or her peers. It’s also a terrible Pauly Shore movie. Either way, it’s something people are always looking to avoid.

In its October issue, Esquire launched its Mentorship Project with a goal of enlisting more than 100,000 men as mentors to young people by 2020. The magazine partnered with three agencies–Barton F. Graf 9000, Makeable and 72andSunny. Barton F. Graf 9000 created The Mentor Act, a bill proposing that mentorship be made a legal excusal of jury duty. The logic being, the more help we give young men during their formative years, the less likely they’re going to end up in front of a jury later on.

To put a fine point on it, the agency created a short documentary with director Michael Bonfiglio, that talks to prison inmates about the role models and mentors they had (or didn’t have) growing up. Their stories are sadly predictable but no less impactful when you hear the regret in their voices and the looks of what-might-have-been in their eyes.

The Mentor Act site has stats and other info on mentorship, as well as a copy of the bill users can send to their state representatives.JB