Represent your community in the restorative justice process by serving on a restorative community board hearing. Volunteers are essential to the success of court diversion, as they represent the voice of the community and help participants understand how their actions have affected others. Serve on a board that designs strength based contracts for youth that have committed an offense of the law. Training is provided. Board hearings generally occur monthly.
Who can volunteer?
Citizens from the varying towns/cities within Merrimack County with an interest in alternative sentencing strategies for juvenile offenders.
Volunteers must pass a criminal background check.
Prior experience with youth is required.
An understanding of restorative justice is preferred but not required.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
- Attend hearings and design strength-based contracts for youth.
- Attend required trainings/meetings coordinated by the Juvenile Services staff.
- Assist coordinator with various tasks during hearings.
- Attend exit interviews with youth/family.
- Follow all policies and procedures regarding confidentiality of youth and families.
What is a restorative community board hearing?
Not all teens need the power of the court system to help them improve their choices and that’s where the Diversion process comes in – as a community response that holds first-time juvenile offenders accountable for their actions.
The RCB process is as follows:
Volunteers review youth’s initial intake information (police report, intake questionnaire, staff notes).
Volunteers hear each juvenile’s case which includes an essay that the juvenile reads about the offense they committed. Volunteers will have time to ask questions to the youth.
Volunteers agree on a restorative contract and explain the contract expectations to the youth and parent/guardian.