Volunteers Network

Volunteers are the greatest asset in many Kentucky communities. Kentucky’s strength lies in the dedication and life experiences of volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds to make a difference:

You can serve the community as a parent, grandparent or as a professional who works with children or adults in the workplace. Kentucky needs you to be a restorative justice advocate and participate in many areas of concern. Volunteers enable us to reach out and support the greatest number of people in the most economical way.

Volunteerism in Kentucky Restorative Justice may be groundbreaking and provide rewarding volunteer opportunities all around our great state. Importantly, the volunteer opportunities are right where you live. We are preparing a network to connect volunteers so your efforts can be utilized to the fullest potential. Volunteers are invited to join our professional network to learn all they can about restorative justice, participate in clinics and conferences and network with other interested parties.

Join myKCRJ Professional Alliance now to keep up with news and events.

What does a volunteer do?

See a partial list below:

  • Observe a conference
  • Participate in a community conference to address incidents in your area
  • Advocate by helping to build the restorative justice movement
  • Facilitate by getting trained to guide community conferences
  • Lead by applying for a board or committee position
  • Interpret when there is a need for professional translators
  • Identify service projects in your area so offenders can fill community needs
  • Donate financial resources to support KCRJ
  • Mentor a youth
  • Create life skills groups that provide leadership to youth.

Tell Me More

Conference Participants: Community members affected by crime participate as victims, educating offenders on the impact of their behavior. They help decide how the offender can give back to the victim or neighborhood that was harmed by the offender’s actions.

Participation requires no training except for a one-time, short orientation for first-time participants. Conferences, typically, last two hours. Participants can decide how often they would like to participate.

Community Advocates: Community Advocates educate and engage those around them to get involved in the justice process. Advocates help build the restorative justice movement. Spread the word by distributing information, promoting restorative justice in the media and talking to your representatives about the benefits of restorative approaches to crime.

Conference Facilitators: Trained facilitators guide each community conference as neutral mediators, ensuring fairness in the process. Volunteers receive training in facilitating restorative group conferences using nationally recognized curriculum.

Boards of Directors: As a Board member, you can play a significant role in the leadership process and can advance the restorative justice principals.

Offender Advocate: Support an offender throughout the conference process.

Service Coordinator Identify and coordinate community service projects for offenders.

Interpreter: Translation of material and conferences to non-English speaking offenders.

Office Helper: Assist staff with office work and special events

Outreach: Share a community perspective at neighborhood gatherings and meetings. Help identify new outreach opportunities. Spread the word!

Offer Financial Support: Make a Difference in our Community! With your help we can offer restorative justice as an alternative to those seeking another option. If you share in our vision, we need your help. KCRJ supports the Kentucky Center for Social Justice, a 501©3 non-profit organization that relies greatly on grants and the generosity of friends and supporters. We appreciate your support.

Mentor Programs: Mentor Programs provide community-based alternatives to residential detention programs. The programs establish community-based supervision and support for youth on probation or at-risk youth. Mentors hold youth accountable for their whereabouts and activities. They work in coordination with the conditions of probation already set. Mentoring includes listening and talking about life issues and providing feedback, support and guidance that leads to positive decisions-making.

Community Mentor Program Goals:

  • Reduce repeat and first-time offenses.
  • Reduce detention center admissions by increasing supervision for high-risk delinquents.
  • Reduce juvenile displacement from home by increasing supervision and family support. 
  • Reduce length of stay for youth placed in residential programs by increasing transition support and supervision upon entry.
  • Reduce conduct violations with curfew checks and drug tests.

Most of the time, mentors receive as much as they give. Give it a try! Don't know where to volunteer? Join our network of citizens whose mission is to bring restorative justice to Kentucky. Networking within the community can help put you in touch with opportunities. We can support each other through the mission. Join us!

Life Skills Groups

Life Skills Groups teach and direct at-risk youths toward more positive and productive ways to make choices in:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Social skills Development
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
  • Anger Management
  • Time Management

Life Skills Groups take advantage of whatever the community has to offer that engages community youth. These activities can include community restoration and volunteerism, sports activities, gardening, animal care or apprenticeships to encourage career-oriented skills, among other ideas.

Regardless of your occupation or your time constraints, opportunities abound to offer assistance in an area comfortable to you. Do you own a business? If not, ask the company you work for if they can help. Perhaps room can be made as an apprenticeship for an at-risk youth. Spend your 15-minute break period with the youth a few times a week talking about his day, his life, his issues, his hope and dreams. Invite the youth to lunch once a week or every other week. Help her understand that you really care about her future and that you have faith in her hard work and dedication to move forward. You may be the "voice in the dark" that is remembered, when next the youth is faced with a difficult decision.

Volunteers with athletic skills or fishing hobbies may wish to mentor at-risk youth. Make a ballgame or fishing buddy for life! It's surprising what a youth can learn on the banks of the lake or on a ball field on a sunny afternoon with the right mentor. Do you love to quilt? Perhaps you can start a quilting club that includes at-risk youth. Someone is probably eager to gain sewing skills while learning patience, humility, and how to accept love from others.

You may not feel particularly talented but life skills are probably the most important things one can share with youth. Experience counts. What you do naturally everyday may be exactly what that at-risk youth craves in his/her life. Share what you know. Join our network of citizens whose mission is to bring a new spirit to Kentucky. Networking within the community can help put you in touch with opportunities. We can support each other through the mission. Join us!

Join Our Network

Join our network of citizens whose mission is to bring a new spirit to Kentucky. Networking within the community can help put you in touch with opportunities. We can support each other through the mission. Trained volunteers are at the heart of restorative justice. Volunteers make our success possible and sustainable wherever we offer services. Join myKCRJ Professional Alliance to be on top of news and events, including our member-only newsletter.

KCRJ works with individuals, non-profits, donors and universities in a collaborative process to accomplish our mission.

  • We develop partnerships with Kentucky K-12 schools to integrate restorative practices.
  • We work with universities and research institutions to help document, evaluate and disseminate lessons learned.
  • We work with law enforcement to establish restorative processes in the justice system.
  • We advance restorative justice with innovative ideas that are proven.

Laying the Groundwork

It may take time to lay the proper groundwork in Kentucky and properly train our communities in restorative justice solutions. But it is imperative... and it is worth it! By joining our group of professionals, you'll be getting involved in your community. You'll be prepared when an opportunity arises. Learn more about restorative justice. It's interesting work and very rewarding. Our member-only newsletter is a benefit of membership. Join myKCRJ.

Contact Us


Want to receive more information?

Keep your hand on the pulse of changing dynamics in Kentucky’s restorative justice movement. Receive news as a member of myKCRJ.

Have any questions?

Please feel free to contact us! We will get back with you as soon as possible.