Youth Court Program
The mission of the Youth Court Program is to serve the community by providing a unique, peer-driven restorative justice models as alternatives to the traditional juvenile justice system.
Working as an immediate intervention for first time juvenile offenders who have committed misdemeanor offenses.
Providing youth offenders, the opportunity to accept responsibility for their actions and make amends through the use of restorative interventions.
Goals & Objectives
The goal of Youth Court is to use positive peer pressure to ensure that young people who have committed minor offenses repair the damage they cause to their victims and to our community and receive the help they need to avoid further confrontation with the justice system.
Services & Programs
Youth Court is a juvenile delinquency diversion and peer-justice program. It is devoted to restorative justice principles—that is, we work to destroy the damaged relationship between youthful offenders, their victims, families and our community. Youth Court is dedicated to rehabilitating first-time nonviolent offenders, holding young people accountable for their behavior, and educating youth about citizenship, the legal system, and constructive conflict resolution.
Youth Court volunteers empower young people to take an active role in addressing criminal offenses of their peers and expand access to justice. Volunteers will be credited community service hours, as well as receive ongoing intensive development and team building activities which will cultivate their leadership skills. Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County is continuously working with the Tennessee Bar Association in the development and operation of its Youth Court.
If you are in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade and interested in volunteering to participate in Youth Court, please complete and submit the accompanying application. Criminal background checks are conducted on all volunteers.
The Youth Court Program is also seeking licensed attorneys from all practices to volunteer their time and talent to mentor area high school students with an interest in the law. The adult volunteer attorneys will assist in preparing students to prosecute, defend and to serve as bailiffs and jurors in “real” sentencing hearings of juvenile offenders. The attorney volunteers also have the opportunity to preside as judge during the court proceedings and gain CLE credits. Criminal background checks are conducted on all volunteers.