About Us

A map of the areas served by Tennessee Youth Courts
Tennessee Youth Courts, Inc. supports Youth (or Teen) Court throughout the state with funding, training of both adult and youth volunteers, educational events, technical assistance, site visits and data collection.

Teenagers who volunteer to sit on the Youth Court decide the sentence for other teens who admitted to committing an offense.  These teen volunteers base their sentence on the principles of Restorative Justice:

  • The teenager learns that bad decisions affect many people and that you have to take responsibility for your actions — Accountability
  • The teen who caused the harm learns how to make better decisions — Competency development
  • If a teen has a good relationship with her community, she will not act out against it. By connecting or reconnecting the youth to his community, you build a relationship that reduces the likelihood of acting out against the community — Community safety/community service

For the youth who volunteer, Youth Courts inform and educate young people about the role of law in our democracy and about their role as active citizens. Volunteers learn about court procedures, sentencing options, trial techniques, structure of the justice system, the meaning of justice and relationships between rights and responsibilities.

Young people who are equipped with knowledge of the law and how it works within the judicial system are inclined to have a better understanding of their connection to the American system of justice. The youth feel that they are participants not potential victims.