Teen Court began in 1997 and is a partnership between Northwest Youth Services and Whatcom County Superior Court. It is a youth-run court in which juvenile offenders are held accountable for their actions by a jury of their peers.
Teen Court is a diversion program, with the goal of offering youth an alternative to juvenile detention. This program is based upon the philosophy of restorative justice rather than punishment. This program offers all participants, volunteers as well as offenders, the unique opportunity to learn about the consequences of criminal behavior and how it affects their community. This program is accessed through referrals by the Prosecutor's Office.
In the Summer Jobs program, youth ages 14-18
(who have completed their Teen Court contract or are on probation) work with staff to find 6-week summer jobs, gaining new skills, financial support, and work experience.
Student Advisory Board (SAB)
The Student Advisory Board is made up of a representative from each participating school. They meet once a month and make all decisions regarding Teen Court.
Student Advisory Board members attend monthly meetings, come prepared to fill in vacant roles at the hearings, keep their teen court teams advised of decisions about Teen Court, help with any fundraisers and recruit/train new Teen Court volunteers.
If you want to be a member, speak to your school’s Teen Court teacher and see if they need a representative. You must be willing to sign an oath of confidentiality.
Questions? Contact Youth Accountability Manager Bonnie at BonnieS@NWYS.org or (360) 734-9862 ext. 130.