TEEN COURT OFFICE:
939 Harris St, Eureka CA 95503
HOURS: Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am-6:00pm
YOUth Choose– for Substance Experimenting Teens: call/text or email for appt
Teen Court is an innovative diversion program for first-time juvenile offenses. It is a real court that is run entirely by teen volunteers. We organize around youth empowerment and restorative justice. Justice for youth by youth!
Youth-led restorative practices have the potential to harness the collective knowledge of youth to shape plans of repair that are achievable and aim to draw youth further into the community, rather than ostracizing or marking youth as undesirable.
In addition to equipping youth with valuable skills, Teen Court also allows for a more comprehensive evaluation of harm and focus on skill-building, affirmation, and positive behavioral growth, rather than mere punitive discipline.
1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month
2nd Floor of the County Courthouse, Eureka
Tuesday and Wednesdays as needed
2nd, 4th, & 5th Thursdays of the month, Sept-May
WE HAVE SEVERAL RESTORATIVE PROCESSES
COURTHOUSE HEARINGS: The Eureka Courthouse hearings have teens serving in the roles of jury, attorney, clerk, and judge, with an adult mentor judge and attorneys providing guidance.
JURY COUNCILS: Jury Councils involve a handful of teens who sit and listen to a case and come up with a restorative plan along with the participant. In Jury Councils there are no student attorneys or judges, just a jury of peers.
ATTENDANCE COUNCILS: This is a support group that is adult facilitated but peer led; it is a place where youth can leverage their experience to help pull back others from school disengagement by providing peer-to-peer mentoring. In a supportive group setting, teens come up with incentives, explore barriers, and markers for success.
In addressing attendance challenges, it is our goal to create a program that will help keep youth out of trouble, off the streets, and foster positive interaction with caring adults and peers.
3 EASY STEPS TO START VOLUNTEERING
You’ll still need to attend our 2-hour jury training when it is offered, typically held in the fall and spring. But you can start with us right now.
To learn more about Teen Court see the brochure below.
If you are unable to apply online, you can also download a TEEN COURT application.
TEEN COURT LEADERS PROGRAM
Teen Court offers two track levels of involvement. Everyone starts out with an initial 2-hour training and volunteers as much or as little as they like. Then at the 2nd semester or the end of the year, youth have the opportunity to decide to join a more intensive track- the Teen Court Leaders.
- TRACK 1: Volunteer to serve in positions for restorative proceedings. Volunteer as little or as much as you like.
- TRACK 2: The more intensive track is the TEEN COURT LEADERS PROGRAM, which is geared towards a more involved and committed group of volunteers that meets every Thursday during the school year. Work on court improvements, recruiting and training new volunteers, receive advanced training, make presentations in the community and go on field trips.
TEEN COURT LEADERS ACTIVITIES
- Gain skills to advocate for youth involved in the justice system
- Lead jury trainings and attorney trainings for new volunteers
- Plan and coordinate activities, presentations, fundraisers, and community activism
- Help participants through peer-to-peer case management
- Learn more about the criminal justice field from professionals, professors, and others in the field
- Create Teen Court outreach materials like pins, stickers, flyers, and more
- Attend out of town conferences and field trips, like California Youth Court Summit every summer
TEEN COURT SUPPORTERS
Teen Court is a collaborative program involving the Humboldt County Probation Department, the Humboldt County Superior Court, Eureka City Schools, local police departments and schools, and other community service entities.
Honorable Chris Wilson
“I think things through before I do them, I have a better relationship with my parents, my choice of friends- it has made a huge impact on everything. I understand ‘respect’ and how important it is every day!”
Humboldt County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission (JJDPC)
Humboldt State University Social Work Department
Humboldt State University Criminology & Justice Studies, Sociology Department
Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration (HCTAYC)
Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP)
Teen Court Director
Sacha began working with the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods in June of 2007 as Program Assistant of Teen Court. In 2010, Sacha became Director of the program. She has an extensive background of championing restorative justice and human rights in the criminal system. In 1999, she co-founded Bar None, a prisoner advocacy and human rights organization. From 2000-2010, she volunteered with California Prison Focus, a legal advocacy organization based in San Francisco that monitors and reports on the conditions of confinement at super max prisons in California. Inspired by her volunteer work, she obtained a Paralegal Certificate and an Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies from College of the Redwoods in 2006. She then interned with several attorneys and the Public Defender’s office before starting her work with the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods.
Sacha sees the motto “Great Futures Start Here!” embodied in our program when participants come to Teen Court for an offense but wish to continue volunteering beyond their mandatory assignments because they have found a new positive group of friends or a valuable venue where their input and presence makes a lasting impact in another youth’s life.
Hollyn joined Teen Court in February 2021 as the Program Coordinator. She was born and raised here in Humboldt County and always knew she wanted to make an impact on youth in the community. She is also a full-time student at Humboldt State University obtaining her bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development. From a young age she knew she wanted to work with children, but until recently she combined the passion with psychology. Outside of work, Hollyn enjoys the beautiful beaches of Humboldt County and going on walks through the redwood forests.