Best Social Justice Organization


PHONE:  707-444-0153

TEXT: 707-362-1514

EMAIL:  hcteencourt@bgcredwoods.org

LOCATION: 939 Harris St, Eureka, CA 95503

HOURS: Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-6pm


PHONE/ TEXT: 707-617-8160

EMAIL: fortunatc@bgcredwoods.org

LOCATION: inside the Gene Lucas Community Center, 3000 Newburg Rd, Fortuna

HOURS: Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-6pm

We create positive and restorative change for our community through advocacy and action for
youth, by youth.


Teen Court is an innovative diversion program for first-time juvenile offenses. It is a real court that is run entirely by teen volunteers, with adult mentors providing guidance. Youth fill all of the court roles, including juror. Jurors hear the youth participant’s story and work together to come up with an appropriate assignment that helps the youthful offender to repair harms and learn from their mistake. 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, accountability, and positive behavioral growth, rather than mere punitive discipline.

Teen Court has been a program of the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods since 2001. We partner with the Humboldt County Superior Court, Probation, law enforcement, schools, and community agencies to deliver healthy services to our community. Youth Courts are a national movement.



TEEN COURT is a real court run entirely by teen volunteers addressing misdemeanor-level offenses. It is a diversion program based on restorative justice, where teens focus on supporting and helping youth instead of merely punishing. Youth have the option to restore relationships, be held accountable, and move forward without the shadow of a police record.

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.

Location: Eureka Courthouse, Teen Court Conference Room, or Virtual

Times:  4:15-6:00pm, Thursdays

Online Referral Portals
For Teen Court

Step 1: Go over Consent Form
Step 2: Refer via Online Portal

Attendance Council

Peer Support Group

ATTENDANCE COUNCIL is a peer-led support group for students struggling with chronic school absenteeism. Fellow students help the clients create an action plan to get them back on track for success. We hold an Attendance Council every Wednesday from 4:15pm-5:15pm.

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 school 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.

Location: Teen Court Conference Room or Virtual

Times: 4:15-5:45pm, Wednesdays

Online Referral Portals
For Attendance Councils:

Step 1: Go over Consent Form
Step 2: Refer via Online Portal

YOUth Choose


YOUth Choose is a FREE alcohol and other drug early intervention for young people.
2 interactive sessions are one-on-one with an adult facilitator. An additional session with a parent/guardian is optional. Program is voluntary or court mandated. Virtual or in-person. Anonymous and confidential. Referrals can be sent through email, the referral button below, or call (707) 444-0153. Youth and parents can also call on their own. Sessions cover:

  • Identifying resources and support
  • Reflecting on decisions
  • How to make positive changes through action plans

Location: Teen Court Office or Virtual

Times: by appointment





Youth TEEN COURT Volunteers


If you are interested in becoming a Teen Court volunteer, you can email/text/call us about an opportunity to observe a hearing before making a commitment to apply. You can also just watch the orientation video to learn more, and then get in touch with us to ask any questions. Or do the 3 easy steps below and start volunteering right away!

3 Easy Steps to Start Volunteering:

3:   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.


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 a committed group of volunteers that meets every Thursday during the school year. LEADERS receive advanced trainings, make presentations in the community, train new volunteers, go on field trips, plan court improvements, & fundraisers


Partner Agencies:

Teen Court is a collaborative program involving the Humboldt County Probation Department, the Humboldt County Superior Court, Eureka City Schools, local police departments, schools, and other community service entities.

Mentor Judge:
Judge Lawrence Killoran

& Judge Christopher Wilson

Adult Mentors:
David Nims

Dawn Watkins

Greg Rael

Heidi Holmquist-Wells

Jeffrey Monsell

Jeffrey Slack

Casey Russo

Kristi Alberti-Valles

Sarah Biasca

Joanne Carter

Ryan Fleisher

Judge Stephen Steward

Amber Miller


“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!

-Former Participant

 Additional Supporters:

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 Use Prevention (ASUP)

Teen Court Color Logo

Sacha Marini
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.

Caitlin Gildersleeve
Program Coordinator

Caitlin was born and raised in Humboldt County and graduated high school from Ferndale High. During her high school career she was involved in FFA where she grew to love our agricultural community. She enjoys anything outdoors, reading, traveling, and trying new activities with her son. She is known for her determination, contagious energy, and selfless acts.

Caitlin has previously worked with youth with special circumstances where she found her love for youth development and the way youths’ minds are all different. Caitlin wanted to continue to give back to her community and in doing so found Teen Court.

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