We plant, nurture, and grow opportunities for teens to change their lives and the lives of others.
Welcome to our site. We are glad you want to know more about Tennessee Youth Courts. We do something quite unique. We train and empower teenagers to handle incidents of rule breaking involving their peers.
Making mistakes is a part of growing up and we think that we have found one of the best ways for youth to learn from their mistakes – youth courts.
We support Youth (or Teen) Court Programs throughout the state of Tennessee with funding and training for adult and youth volunteers, educational events, technical assistance, site visits and data collection. Youth court programs operate in schools and in conjunction with juvenile courts. Teenagers who volunteer to sit on the Youth Court decide the sentence or consequence for other teens who admitted to committing an offense. These teen volunteers base their sentence on the principles of Restorative Justice which value the contributions of and value the perspectives of victims and offenders.
Tennessee Youth Court, Inc. has been identified as one of five promising programs operating in our state by Vanderbilt University’s Center for Safe and Supportive Schools (S3). And, youth/teen court programs are evidence-basted programs and are considered model programs of the U.S, Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Youth court programs would not be successful without the hundreds of volunteers – mostly lawyers – who act as mentors and advisors to youth court programs and the teens who volunteer their time and wisdom to act as members of the courts.
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