Starting Jan. 1, the minimum wage in unincorporated Boulder County is $15.69/hour.

A partir del 1 de enero, el salario mínimo local en la zona no incorporada del condado de Boulder será de $15.69/hora.

Volunteer Opportunity

Graphic Arts/Dog interaction/Art/Special Activities- 1 hour per week – Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC)-Boulder

Application or Registration Deadline: 06/05/2024
Opportunity Type: Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity
Department: Community Services
Category: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Time Commitment & Minimum Age: Must be 21 years old to apply. Approximately 1 hour per week for nine months.

Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) at the Boulder County Justice Center, 1777 6th Street, Boulder, CO

Program Summary:

We are currently recruiting for people to interact with youth clients in short-term temporary detention at the Boulder County Justice Center. Do you have a passion for and expertise in graphic arts/art, dog therapy, music education (we have ukuleles!) with the ability to interact well with young people? Contact us!

The commitment is only once a week for an hour, during a 6-9-month period. You’ll supply materials (although we have ukuleles and sheet music), design the curriculum and present the topics each week. Since this is a short-term detention facility, we do not know how many youths will be in custody any given week, so flexibility is key for this position.

Special Activities programming provides positive and pro-social opportunities for youth who are not generally exposed to the arts, live music, healthy recreational activities or life skills training. This is a way to increase knowledge and skills, to improve communication and sharing in small groups and give juveniles new coping skills that they can apply in their lives with their peers.

Other volunteer projects have included AIDS education from BCAP, life skills from SAFEHOUSE, meditation, or music education and we are open to your ideas for developing other pro-social or educational/cultural classes. The number of youths in the JAC changes daily, but generally there may be 0-5. If there are no clients in the JAC on your volunteer day, we’ll reschedule with you.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Come up with an idea.

Design and facilitate the education of that idea in a one-hour capsule.

Bring your ideas and all necessary supplies once approved. (Except ukuleles – we have those! Did I mention that already?)

Art – Graphic novel creation – drawing – music – life skills – dog therapy (bring a well-trained socially comfortable dog and interact with kids)

The activity sessions need to be designed to specifically engage youth 11-17 years old in a small group (typically 1-7 people) setting in a one-hour time period. The goal is to provide exposure to a variety of creative and stimulating activities that may serve as positive outlets and alternatives for high-risk behavior. It also helps to distract them from their current situation for a short time. Youth are temporarily held at the JAC (from just hours to a couple of days), so the program must be contained to 1 hour (not an ongoing program that builds on itself from week to week).

If you have another idea, contact us and we’ll discuss it!

Qualifications and Requirements:

Must be at least 21 years old. NO DWAI/DUI convictions within the past 5 years.

Have a serious desire to work compassionately with a diverse population of kids in the criminal justice system.

If you have experience in the justice system, it can be a valuable tool and we will assess your application on a case-by-case basis.

An ability to actively listen and easily engage with youth without judgment while understanding appropriate boundaries is required.
Important personal qualities are having a passion for your project, strong communication skills, being non-judgmental, expressing creativity, patience and humor.

All volunteers must pass a criminal background check and fingerprinting. Again, lived experience in the justice system can be valuable, and each application is vetted on an individual basis for appropriate fit in the program.

Contact Mary at for more information and the application link.

Training Dates and Information:

Specific schedule will be discussed with JAC supervisory staff once vetted and approved.

Additional Information:

This type of programming helps kids get their minds off of why they’re in detention, among other things. Promoting pro-social behavior includes engaging youth in projects. We recently had a couple doing dog therapy, but they got pregnant and had to stop. We’d love to have another dog come in. In the past we have had BCAP and Safehouse staff who come to interact with youth in the JAC. If you have an idea for a project, please design the one-hour curriculum, get your supplies, and contact us!


Mary Eldred at or 303.441.3718

Application Process:

Please email Mary Eldred, to express interest and to receive online application instructions and link.

Submit application, with 3 references and resume. In submitting the application you agree to be background checked and fingerprinted.

Pass a background check. References are returned. Documents are sent to the supervisor in the JAC. They decide whether to interview you. After approval, you are fingerprinted, and a schedule is set.

There’s a position for each type of project and they’re open until filled. If you have a unique idea of programming, let’s talk. Engaging these young people in daily activities helps distract them from their situation and open their eyes to new possibilities.