Resources for You

Our Programs
What Drives Us

Our Mission

Our mission is simple, it’s to be there as a resource when children are on the verge of trouble and to be a guide when they have gotten in trouble. Because prevention before problem is always the best way to go.

Youth Peer Court

The Shasta County Youth/Peer Court was created as a program of the Youth Violence Prevention Council in October 2003, to provide a means by which first time juvenile offenders could be diverted from the traditional juvenile justice system into a program which practices restorative, rather than punitive justice.  By agreeing to participate in the program, the offenders, called respondents,  have the opportunity to  have their cases heard before a jury of their peers.  If the respondent successfully completes his or her sentence and does not reoffend while in the program, the record for that offense is cleared.    As the name implies, the peer jurors and attorneys in Youth/Peer Court are youths between the ages of  12-18 from middle and high schools throughout Shasta County.

Youth/Peer Court also provides an opportunity for a broad segment of middle and high school aged students throughout the county to learn about the rights and responsibilities of individuals in our legal system.   This helps students to make more informed choices in the way they conduct their personal lives.  Through volunteering as jurors, jury forepersons, and student attorneys, they are able to help offending youths, (called respondents) by deciding on a variety of sanctions that are available as part of the sentence.   They hold the respondents accountable for their actions, provide classes and other sanctions to help the respondents develop some competencies, so that they will be less likely to reoffend in the future.  This empowers youth and teaches them valuable skills while they in turn help other youth.

There are over 1300 youth courts nationally in 49 states and the District of Columbia.  Youth courts have shown statistically to reduce the percentage of youths recidivating by half of that of the more traditional juvenile justice systems.  Youth courts are the fastest growing juvenile intervention programs in the nation, and divert first time offenders out of the formal juvenile criminal justice systems.

The Shasta County Youth/Peer Court has over 100 student volunteers in the program each year and sixty or more adult volunteers.  Court is generally held once a week in the evenings from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Redding, and once a month in Anderson.  See the court calendar for a listing of court dates and locations.


The mission of the Shasta County Youth/Peer Court is to create a program that incorporates a balanced approach to youth justice stressing accountability, competency development, and community protection rather than punishment.  We call this approach restorative justice. Rather than concentrating specifically on the crime or offense, restorative justice focuses on the victim(s), the offender, and the need to restore the damage that occurred through accountability and competency development, which ultimately leads to a safer community.


refers to the need for offenders to make amends to victims for the losses caused by their actions.  In addition, our program has an awareness component that educates youth on the impact their actions have on their victims and the community.

Competency Development:

Emphasizes the need for offenders leaving our program to have the skills necessary to become productive members of our society and to carry over and apply what they have learned when confronted with difficult choices and situations in their futures. Education is the key component to this.

Community Protection:

Refers to the right of the public to be safe and secure.  This is accomplished through sharing responsibilities with the juvenile justice system, the community, the youth, and the family to keep a watchful eye on the offenders and assist in their reintegration back into the community.

Court Structure


The Shasta County Youth/Peer Court uses adult judges from the federal and county courts who volunteer their time to oversee the court proceedings.  The sentences are decided by the jury, however, the judges review those decisions to ensure they are appropriate for the offense and for the respondent.


Student attorneys work in pairs as a Prosecution Team or a Defense Team, and are coached by adult attorneys from the community who volunteer their time to mentor the students and then observe them in court in order to provide constructive feedback to the students.


The jury is comprised of students from both middle and high schools from ages 11-18.  Training is held 3-4 times each year to teach students about the court system and about the various roles they can hold in the court.  The jury is a combination of volunteer youth jurors and respondents who are required as part of their sentence to come back and serve on the jury.   This gives the respondent jurors an opportunity to help other youth by assisting in the jury process and helping to create  appropriate and meaningful sanctions for other respondents.  Jury Forepersons are chosen to preside over the jury deliberation process, and this teaches youth valuable leadership and communication skills.

The Youth/Peer Court does not determine guilt or innocence, since one of the requirements for a youth to appear in front of the court is a confession of guilt and taking responsibility for one’s actions.  The jury’s job, therefore, is to assign a disposition that will benefit both the respondent and the community.  The types of offenses that appear in the court are theft, vandalism, drug and alcohol offenses, assault and battery, cyber-related crimes and school based offences.

Respondents are referred to the Youth/Peer Court by the Shasta County Probation Department’s Juvenile Assessment Center and by the School Resource Officers or administrators of various high school and middle school campuses in the county.

The ranges of dispositions are:  apologies, essays, educational classes, counseling, community service, juvenile court work days, jury service, and restitution.  Educational classes that are available include: Mad City Money, Drug and Alcohol, Anger Management, Victim Impact, ATOD Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs class, Life Skills, and Choices for Life Coroner’s Tour.

The consequence for respondents that do not complete their Youth/Court dispositions satisfactorily or reoffend while in the program is to be referred back to the Juvenile Probation Department or the school that referred them to be processed through the juvenile justice system for their original crime or offense.

Attorney Trials and Master Juries:

We have two types of court trials: Attorney Trials and Master Juries.  During an attorney trial, the respondent is appointed a pair of youth defense attorneys.  A pair of prosecution attorneys is also appointed to the case.  Both teams of attorneys are given copies of the police report, copies of any pertinent evidence, and access to witnesses.  Each team is coached by an adult attorney who guides them through the court process.   The defense attorneys also meet or talk to the respondent prior to the trial in order to discuss the case.  Each set of attorneys are responsible for opening statements, closing arguments, and the questioning of the respondent and any witnesses.  They are allowed to make objections and enter any relevant material into evidence.  After their presentation, they hand the case over to the jury to decide the sentence.

In the Master Juries, the jurors read the police reports, ask both prepared and spontaneous questions of the respondent, and make the final decisions about sentencing.   There are no attorneys in the master jury process. For a schedule of trials and master juries, please refer to the Youth/Peer Court calendar found on the website.

All Court proceedings are open to the public.  Attendees are advised to keep the names and details of what they hear in court confidential.  We encourage you to attend a master jury or trial if you are interested in finding out more information.

Shasta County Youth/Peer Court Dress Code:

Appropriate clothing, conduct, and respect are expected at all times by the Youth/Peer Court for respondents, jury members, student attorneys, and Peer Court staff.   Student attorneys should especially dress appropriately for their role, and look as professional as possible.

Unacceptable Clothing:

(you will not be allowed on jury duty if wearing the following items)


  • Shorts
  • Blue jeans (ripped or excessively faded)
  • Tank tops
  • Undershirts
  • T-shirts with offensive/controversial logos
  • Baggy pants
  • Camouflage clothing
  • Exposed undergarments
  • Spikes
  • Trench coats
  • Any gang related clothing
  • Bandanas
  • Sunglasses
  • Ball caps
  • Combat boots


  • Shorts
  • Blue Jeans (ripped or excessively faded)
  • Tank tops, spaghetti straps, strapless shirts
  • Midriffs showing or revealing shirts
  • Tee Shirts with offensive/controversial logos
  • Baggy pants
  • Camouflage clothing
  • Exposed undergarments
  • Excessive jewelry
  • Trench coats
  • Any gang-related clothing
  • Bandanas
  • Sunglasses
  • Ball caps
  • Miniskirts or extremely short dresses

Restorative Justice: The Seven Steps to Deliberation

The most effective jurors are those who can readily identify all the disposition options and understand how each is related to Restorative Justice and the 40 Developmental Assets.  You should ask questions and make comments during deliberations that will help to ensure that the dispositions will help the respondents to understand how their actions affected others.  Your goal is to give a sentence that creates opportunities for the respondent to repair the harm, increase the respondent’s skills and education, and involve the community.

Review the rules for jury deliberations.

Review the facts and circumstances of the case.  Discuss your impressions of what you saw and heard during the hearing.

Decide who was affected by the respondent’s actions and how they were harmed by the respondent.

Identify the needs of everyone who was affected by the harm: respondent, respondent’s family, victims, and the community.

Decide what needs to be done to repair the harm.

Determine an appropriate sentence that will help meet the needs of the affected parties and reach mutual agreement.  The jury usually votes on the sanctions, with a majority vote deciding which sanctions to impose.  The deliberation should begin with classes, then written or other assignments, and community service and/or juvenile court work days, and jury duty as appropriate.

Provide a written verdict that describes the sentence.  It may include a written justification that explains the reason for the dispositions imposed.  This written statement can send a message to the respondent about the jury’s thoughts and impressions, as well as their hopes for successful completion of the program.


The Youth Options Mentors Program helps to empower youth in our community to make positive life choices that enable them to maximize their potential. The mentoring program uses adult volunteers to commit to supporting, guiding, and being an additional role model to a 8-17 year old from Shasta County.  Mentors meet with the teen a minimum of one hour per week for a period of one year.

You can make a difference

The Youth Violence Prevention Council is recruiting adult mentors to make a difference in the lives of local youth.

For a majority of youth having a caring adult to turn to for guidance and encouragement can make a crucial difference between success and failure in life.  Research has shown that volunteer mentors can play a powerful role in reducing drug abuse and youth violence, while greatly enhancing a young person’s prospects for leading a healthy and productive life.

PlusONE Mentors provides ongoing new mentor trainings for people who are interested in mentoring.  Men and women in the community who have one hour a week to spend making a difference in the lives of a Shasta County youth are greatly appreciated.  For more information on how you can support the youth in Shasta County, please call 244-7194. A new mentor application is below.

Make the choice to make a difference, become a mentor today!

Youth Fire Setter Prevention & Intervention

It is imperative to understand the development of various types of fire behavior in children and adolescents.

YFPI utilizes the screening program developed by FEMA and the USFA to evaluate children who have been involved in fire-setting.

The evaluation tool assesses the risk of future fire-setting behavior by looking at the physical, cognitive, emotional, psychiatric motivation and demographic characteristics of the child and family.

Based on the results; a child will be placed in one of the following areas:

  • Little Risk:                60-70% curiosity
  • Some Risk:                30-40% delinquent
  • Extreme Risk:           less than 1%

Through proper evaluation and a combination of positive parenting, effective school and fire service education programs, therapy, and community engagement future fire behavior can be reduced among youth.

The Youth Fire Academy is offered twice per year for all identified youth fire-setters and their families.

YFPI Addresses Ages 5-18Yrs and is a program of Youth Violence Prevention Council & in partnership with the Shasta Arson Task Force

For more information please contact:

Jas Shaw, YFPI Coordinator
Phone: 244-7194 or via email at

The YFPI Pamphlet

YFPI Community Referral form

2016 Model Performance in Fire Prevention Symposium

SYLC Leadership Camp

SYLC Leadership Camp is designed to strengthen youth leadership in Shasta County.  The main purpose of the Leadership Camp is to prevent drug abuse, gang involvement and violence among youth and to build a positive relationship between law enforcement and the youth of our community.  Youth with leadership ability, who are committed to being drug-free and are willing to take a stand against drug abuse, are especially able to make a positive difference among their friends and in our community. Leadership Camp is for such youth.  It has been an annual summer event in Shasta County for over 19 years, jointly sponsored by various law enforcement and drug prevention agencies from across Shasta County and the Youth Violence Prevention Council of Shasta County.

Leadership Camp brings together 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade students from schools throughout the county, develops their leadership potential, and encourages their commitment to a drug-free life.  Our goal is to have each student be a positive influence at school and among friends, encouraging others to a drug, gang, and violence free life. Participants spend the entire four days at camp, with two counselors assigned to each cabin.  Counselors are selected from area high schools or colleges through an application process.  They are drug-free youth who have demonstrated leadership ability and are strong role models.  Staff, comprised of law enforcement officers, public health officials and counselors train together prior to camp. At camp, the staff provides a leadership program for both campers and counselors that focuses on what it takes to be a drug, gang, and violence free youth in today’s society and how to influence friends and others to choose to be the same.

The leadership program and other activities are designed to provide a learning experience that is meaningful, interesting and fun.  Special events include Public Safety Day (police, fire and rescue unit demonstrations), the Leadership Olympics and guest speakers.  New and lasting friendships between campers, counselors and staff members are made at Leadership Camp. Campers are selected through an application and screening process which involves both Leadership Camp staff and the school staff for each camper applicant.  Students will be selected from throughout Shasta County to attend as campers.  Please discuss this opportunity with your parents and make sure it does not conflict with a family vacation or other summer activity.  Please insure that the application is completed and signed. The cost for camp this year is $85.   Leadership Camp is partially funded by the Shasta County Interagency Narcotic Task Force and generous donations from the community.

Fresh Start for Youth Endowment Fund

The mission of Fresh Start is to develop an endowment fund to offer assistance to the most vulnerable members of our community-teens and young adults. Our goal is to step in when no other community resources are available and help our youth by providing support to achieve career, physical, and mental well-being.

The ideal candidate for this program is a teen or young adult who has demonstrated the ability and drive to succeed if given the opportunity for a fresh start. Examples of requests that will be considered are:

  • Support for on-the-job training programs or to attend college
  • Books and school supplies
  • Work uniforms and tools
  • Tutoring assistance to ensure educational success

The Fresh Start Committee will process requests made on behalf of youth in need of assistance. These requests will originate from varies public agencies such as probation and our school system as well as from local non-profit and faith-based organizations. The committee may also consider support of funds, to meet immediate needs and cope with a crisis.

Once a request has been approved the funds will be made available to the appropriate organization.

Graffiti Eradication

Graffiti Eradication Hotline for reporting (530) 245-6211

What is graffiti?

Graffiti is the willful defacement of someone else’s property by writing words or drawing with any marking substance.  Graffiti can be placed on any surface including walls, fences, rocks, trees, mail and news boxes, sidewalks, roadways, windows, and equipment covers.

Why should you care?

Graffiti is a crime and the incidence of this crime is increasing nationwide.  Graffiti invites other types of vandalism and crime, including gang violence.  It is one of the ways that gangs mark their territory.   The presence of graffiti suggests that the city doesn’t care about or cannot cope with it.  Graffiti gives the impression that a city isn’t safe and this can drive people away.  Areas filled with graffiti are less appealing to those who may be looking to buy or rent property.  Properties in graffiti ridden neighborhoods become more difficult to sell and their values are reduced.  Private property owners and public agencies spend thousands of dollars every year cleaning up graffiti.  This is money that could have been spent on education or saved.  Graffiti costs the community its reputation, its safety, and its financial resources.

What is the Graffiti Eradication Program?

The Graffiti Eradication Program is a police-based crime prevention program designed to reduce incidents of graffiti, vandalism, and gang activity and prevent the negative impact that this crime has on the community.

A leading motivating factor for graffiti vandals is notoriety.  By removing graffiti as quickly as it appears, vandals are unable to achieve recognition from their peers.  If left unchallenged, however, graffiti encourages other crimes and encroaches on the safety and well-being of our community.

The Graffiti Eradication Program is based on the 3R’s approach:  recognize, report, and remove.  Residents are asked to recognize that graffiti is a crime, and to report graffiti to the Graffiti Hotline (245-6211) so the police can remove the vandalism immediately following its appearance.

How can you prevent graffiti?

Your involvement is required to proactively fight this crime.  There are several steps you can take to help prevent graffiti:

  1.  If your property becomes the target of graffiti vandalism you may remove the graffiti yourself or call 245-6211 and officers will come out to remove it for you.
  2. Report and remove graffiti as soon as it appears. Rapid removal of the vandalism will prevent the offender from achieving recognition from other “taggers.”
  3. Ensure your property always looks occupied. Lock all doors and exterior gates and ensure there is good lighting around the property.
  4. Start or participate in a Neighborhood Watch program.
  5. Where possible remove objects that can be used to access target areas such as roofs and eliminate tempting areas such as walls and fences by landscaping them with bushes and trees. Studies show that graffiti and litter are less common in areas that have been landscaped.
  6. Cover walls with anti-graffiti coatings.
  7. Do not glorify graffiti by using graffiti images in advertising or displays.
  8. If you sell products that could be used for graffiti (such as spray paint) be careful how you display the products.
  9. In Shasta County the Redding Police Department, North Valley School, the Youth Violence Prevention Council, and several other non-profits, work together to eradicate graffiti.  There is an on-going need for paint to cover up graffiti and other supplies.  Donations can be made to Youth Violence Prevention Council by calling 244-7194.
40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents

Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development—known as Developmental Assets—that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

This particular list is intended for adolescents (age 12-18). If you’d like to see the lists for other age groups, you can find them on the Developmental Assets Lists page.

For more information on the assets and the research behind them, see the Developmental Assets research page.


  1. Restraint| Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
  2. Responsibility| Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
  3. Honesty| Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
  4. Integrity| Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
  5. Equality and Social Justice| Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  6. Caring | Young Person places high value on helping other people.
  7. Reading for Pleasure| Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
  8. Bonding to School| Young person cares about her or his school.
  9. Homework| Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
  10. School Engagement | Young person is actively engaged in learning.
  11. Achievement Motivation| Young person is motivated to do well in school.
  12. Time at Home| Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.
  14. Religious Community| Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution.
  15. Youth Programs| Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.SHOW ME HOW TO TAKE ACTION
  16. Creative Activities| Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
  17. High Expectations| Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
  18. Positive Peer Influence| Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
  19. Adult Role Models| Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
  20. Neighborhood Boundaries| Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
  21. School Boundaries| School provides clear rules and consequences.
  22. Family Boundaries| Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
  23. Safety| Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
  24. Service to Others| Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
  25. Youth as Resources| Young people are given useful roles in the community.
  26. Community Values Youth| Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
  27. Parent Involvement in Schooling| Parent(s) are actively involved in helping the child succeed in school.
  28. Caring School Climate| School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
  29. Caring Neighborhood| Young person experiences caring neighbors.
  30. Other Adult Relationships| Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
  31. Positive Family Communication| Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parents.
  32. Family Support| Family life provides high levels of love and support.
  33. Planning and Decision Making| Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
  34. Interpersonal Competence| Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
  35. Cultural Competence| Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
  36. Resistance Skills| Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
  37. Peaceful Conflict Resolution | Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
  38. Personal Power| Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.”
  40. Self-Esteem| Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
  41. Sense of Purpose| Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”
  42. Positive View of Personal Future| Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

This list is an educational tool. It is not intended to be nor is it appropriate as a scientific measure of the developmental assets of individuals.

Copyright © 1997, 2007 by Search Institute. All rights reserved. This chart may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial use only (with this copyright line). No other use is permitted without prior permission from Search Institute, 615 First Avenue N.E., Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828. See Search Institute’s Permissions Guidelines and Request Form

The following are registered trademarks of Search Institute: Search Institute®, Developmental Assets® and Healthy Communities • Healthy Youth®.

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