Court Duty Volunteer

The purpose of the NEPACS Court Project Court Duty Volunteer is to offer information, advice and support to families. Having a visible presence in the court and using telephone support, volunteers support families by listening and offering information and advice when someone close to them is sentenced or remanded in custody. Families of prisoners often say they feel isolated in their community and unable to cope. Volunteers aim to help individuals by offering a listening ear, a helping hand and friendly support to help family make the next steps.

Main tasks include:

  • To find out and identify from the court lists and by liaising with probation and court staff the court cases where custody is anticipated
  • To approach families tactfully when a custodial sentence is imposed with the offer of support and information
  • To develop positive working relationships with court staff
  • Be available for families who may be distressed
  • Ensure that any leaflet racks are well stocked
  • To manage caseload and commit time to an agreed schedule of establishing contact with families
  • To offer genuine understanding, empathy and emotional support
  • To provide regular reports to Court Project Coordinator on the progress of the relationship, notifying them of any difficulties in the relationship and seek advice on how this should be resolved
  • To complete case notes information, case studies and monitoring forms


  • To have an interest in the needs of prisoner's families
  • To be respectful of the traditions of the courts
  • To have a professional but empathetic manner
  • To be friendly and approachable
  • Be punctual and reliable
  • To have excellent listening and verbal communication skills; ability to communicate confidently with a wide range of people
  • To be able to work well independently
  • To be non-judgmental


The role is based at Durham Crown Court, Teeside Crown and Magistrates Court, and Newcastle Crown Court. 


  • Accessibility
    Across various centres
  • Age restrictions
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
    Initial project induction and training

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 10/03/2023

End Date: 29/03/2025

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