Juvenile Court Institute, what is it?

YAVAPAI COUNTY -- The Juvenile Court Institute (JCI) is a learning opportunity for community members to explore the inside of the juvenile court system and discover effective ways to make a difference in the lives of youth and "influence positive change."

JCI is recommended for all people having an interest in volunteering with youth in the Juvenile Court System. It is recommended for anyone who wants to become a mentor or Recovery Coach.

When a child is arrested or detained, a complex system is set into motion. Juveniles have a specific set of laws and procedures that must be followed. Numerous resources within the community are needed and it is up to the Juvenile Detention and Probation Programs to meet guidelines, activate resources, and assist the family to obtain appropriate services. Juvenile Court Institute was designed to offer the opportunity for the community to see what goes on "behind the scenes" and it has become so popular it is now offered annually.

Classes take place on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Verde Valley and Prescott. Each week for ten weeks, a different aspect of the juvenile system is highlighted. Guest speakers range from judges, county attorneys, probation officers, detention staff, representatives of the Department of Juvenile Corrections, and representatives of a variety of organizations from within our community including CASA, CPS and West Yavapai Guidance Clinic. Participants are also introduced to the numerous programs and groups designed to assist in the recovery of healthy lifestyles and decision-making skills.

When: Groups are offered courses both in the Verde Valley and in Prescott on a yearly basis, more often if there is additional need. Classes take place on Thursday evenings. One day is spent in the field with Probation Officers and one day is spent in a courtroom observing juvenile hearings.

Who: Many employees of the various court agencies like CASA participate, along with staff and employees from agencies including Boys to Men, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and local schools. Yavapai College students, interns from local colleges, as well as other interested citizens.

To participate, contact Sally Salisbury, Volunteer Coordinator, Juvenile Court Services, 1100 Prescott Lakes Parkway, Prescott, AZ 86301 Call 928-442-5670 or email ssalisbu@courts.az.gov.

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