Engaging Youth in Leadership and Community Service



Vanderburgh County Teen Court was founded in 2004 in partnership with Vanderburgh County Juvenile Court, Judge Brett Niemeier, local attorney Kathryn Kornblum-Zelle and Youth Resources. Teen Court is an early-intervention/diversion program that offers first-time youth offenders (ages 10-17) an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.

Juvenile offenders go before a jury of their peers and are represented by a peer defense attorney. The jury of 8th-12th grade students determines a disposition (verdict) based on restorative justice theory that emphasizes how crimes hurt relationships within our community. The jury’s duty is to provide an appropriate sentence for the juvenile offender so they can understand their offense, its impact, and how to make healthy choices in the future. Youth volunteers also act as defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, bailiff and judge’s assistant. All students are mentored by licensed adult attorneys.


  • Be enrolled in 8th-12th grade or home school equivalent.
  • There is no experience necessary for students applying to volunteer. We will train you for every leadership position offered.


Teen Court volunteers must adhere to the following to maintain their good standing in the program:

  • Act respectfully during all Teen Court hearing proceedings, trainings, and meetings.
  • Live a tobacco-, drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle.
  • Keep all Teen Court information confidential including, but not limited to, hearing testimony and case documents.


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Step 1 of 6

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. All volunteers must have an application on file AND be trained by Youth Resources before volunteering.

Questions? Contact:
Favene Billa
Teen Court Coordinator
812-421-0031 ext. 17


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