Programs of the GBCJC
Reparative Boards: A Program by which victims of crimes and communities work together to hold responsible parties of an incident accountable and make things right. Reparative Probation is a community-sponsored probation program (cases come from court sentencing). Victims and others affected by the crime are invited to participate, the responsible parties and community members trained in restorative justice address what happened, who was harmed and how, what is needed to repair the harm. A plan is collectively created to repair the harm and make amends, as well as address prevention of future offenses.
Restorative Justice Alternative Program: The Restorative Justice Alternative Program addresses pre-charge and pre-adjudicated referrals from the State’s Attorney, Barre City Police, schools and community. Through the use of restorative conferences, Reparative Board, Family Group Conferences or conflict resolution processes, this program encourages people responsible for an offense and those who were affected by it to take an active role in determining what should happen as a result. Restorative responses to crime look at the effect on others and on the community and stress the importance of repairing harm and restoring relations. Victims of the wrongdoing, affected parties and community members join with the responsible person to ask questions about the incident, determine who was harmed and how, and collectively create an agreement for making amends and for making better choices in the future.
Conflict Assistance Program: A program where neighbors in conflict can get assistance in working things out. This program addresses quality of life issues, provides a conflict professional to help the parties look at the situation, and work toward what would make the situation better.
Restorative Conferencing: A method of delivering restorative justice, which brings all parties of an incident together: the person who has harmed, and the affected parties. A facilitator follows a restorative process addressing who was harmed and how, and what can be done to make amends. A collective agreement is created.
Insights Into Conflict Class: A course developed and delivered by the Montpelier Community Justice Center, this course is for people who are referred to the Restorative Justice Alternative Program or to Reparative Probation for committing offenses where conflict has resulted in physical or verbal assault. The intent of the course is to decrease the likelihood of future offending by educating participants about conflict resolution styles, the harm of fighting, and some alternative ways of looking at conflict.
Offender Re-entry: Our Restorative Reentry Program promotes the principle of no more victims. The program works with people who have significant ties with the Barre community and who committed serious and violent offenses, have been released from prison to serve the remainder of their sentence in the Barre community. By establishing and enforcing clear expectations of its participants for positive community behavior, it interrupts the cycle of criminal offending. Participants become part of a weekly meeting of a Circle of Support and Accountability (COSA) made up of trained community members who are brought together to form a relationship with the person coming out of jail. The COSA is intended to reduce reoffending by helping the core member to succeed, while holding him/her accountable.
Community Dialogue and Response to Current Community Issues: Forums are organized to invite public dialogue about public and community issues. Forums are custom designed and facilitated to meet the needs of the particular issue and/or participants. Through large and small group work, or door to door conversation, community dialogue can result in better understanding of an issue.
Trainings: In conflict management, communication skills and restorative justice, peer mediation, the GBCJC delivers trainings to groups who are interested in learning more about these areas. We also conduct ongoing training about restorative justice and Reparative Board training for new volunteers.
Family Group Conferencing: With a grant “Family Group Conferences for Youth Adjudicated Delinquent” from the VT Department of Children and Families we deliver family group conferences (FGC) to youth who are delinquent or at risk of delinquency adjudication and their families. FGC is a three-stage process that brings together a child’s family (with the child) to make decisions and to come up with a plan that will create a way forward. Serving as an independent coordinator, we coordinate the FGC meeting by bringing together service providers and agency representatives to give information and consultation to the family while the family serves as the primary decision-making and planning group.