Resolve Youth Restorative Justice (formerly Teen Court)
Make a difference in your community through service with Resolve Youth Restorative Justice. As a youth volunteer, you will have the opportunity to listen to the testimonies of your peers, collaborate with others, and give accountable youth the chance to take responsibility for their actions.
Resolve is a restorative justice program that allows youth who have committed non-violent crimes an opportunity to repair harm. Through a partnership with the Lane County Department of Youth Services, our program is forwarded cases appropriate for youth volunteers to work with. Together, volunteers, accountable youth and staff circle up and engage in open, honest dialogue. The group decides restorative actions that allow for closure and healing for the accountable youth, their family and the community. Our volunteers actively support their peers, while accountable youth are provided a contract unique to them.
From workshops and trainings to decision-making and public speaking, youth volunteers are not only given the tools to contribute, but also develop practical life skills. Promoting positive mental health is a top priority in our program, focusing on topics such as self-esteem, mindfulness, stress management and interpersonal skills. Our staff value the time given by our youth and seek to provide an environment of both inclusion and personal growth. All of our volunteers agree to abide by our Belonging and Inclusion statement, which provides a safe space for all to participate. We enjoy providing references for our volunteers and discovering what opportunities they choose to pursue in the future.
While our program is an opportunity for volunteers to serve others, it is also a community for our youth to partake in. In addition to our case discussions with accountable youth, part of our circle time is also dedicated to recreation and community building. Staff lead activities such as icebreakers, crafts and card games. Each season, we also host events for our volunteers to engage in ranging from movie nights, laser tag and holiday parties. While these events are always optional, they are a great way for youth to connect with their peers.
Our program provides additional volunteer opportunities for youth. Both volunteers and accountable youth are given the chance to serve together, developing community in a laidback environment. We provide different types of opportunities, allowing youth to explore other organizations and gain exposure to different fields. Staff lead volunteer outings, providing supervision and support during these events.
The Resolve Youth Leadership Council is an opportunity for active volunteers seeking additional responsibility to lead our program. Council members meet before circle nights, where they prepare additional tasks, plan quarterly volunteer appreciation events, and develop the program to continually be better. Youth are given the opportunity to review confidential case information and prepare thoughtful questions for accountable youth. Additionally, a youth volunteer is given the opportunity to serve as a Youth Advisor, where they work one-on-one with accountable youth prior to their case being discussed in the larger group.
The Resolve Youth Leadership Council is open to all active volunteers after the completion of ten recorded volunteer hours with the program.
Circles are held Thursday evenings. Volunteers can participate as often as they choose. Each month, our program offers a mixture of opportunities, including restorative justice, personal development trainings and recreation.
All time served with the program is recorded and most hours can be used for school service requirements. Our volunteers also frequently use their service hours to pursue jobs and scholarships.