In celebration of 20 years of restorative responses to crime and conflict, CJNVT recognized restorative justice leaders and long term volunteers on February 5, 2016 at the Vermont State House.
2016 Restorative Justice Awards
John Gorczyk (Restorative Justice Leadership Award)
John Gorczyk holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins University. He started working at the St. Johnsbury correctional facility on 13 Cherry Street in 1973. He held a variety of positions during his career including Probation Officer, Director of Program Services, and Deputy Commissioner. Between 1991 and 2003 he served as Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and promoted intermediate sanctions, restorative justice programs, and the application of evidence-based practices. In 2006, he was recognized with the Louie Wainwright Award for his lifetime contributions to corrections. John is a CoSA volunteer and serves on the Community Advisory Board at the Montpelier Community Justice Center.
Joe Patrissi (Restorative Justice Leadership Award)
Joe Patrissi began his career as a correctional officer in 1970. In 1986, Governor Madeleine Kunin appointed him Corrections Commissioner. With support from Governor Kunin, Patrissi, William Page, former Director of Planning for the Polaroid Corporation, John Gorczyk, Director of Programs, and John Perry, Director of Planning, began discussions that resulted in Restorative Justice initiatives in Vermont. Support for this initiative also came from Governor Richard Snelling and then Secretary of Human Services Con Hogan. Joe retired from state government in 2010 to work as the executive director of Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA).
John Perry (Restorative Justice Leadership Award
John Perry retired in 2009 from his 27-year-long position as Director of Planning at the Department of Corrections. Based on research showing most victims wanted reparations, not jail time for offenders, Perry an
d others worked to remodel Vermont’s approach to corrections. This involved embracing restorative justice by changing job descriptions, developing and amending laws, and rethinking criminal justice infrastructure. John remains involved with the Community Justice Center in St. Johnsbury
Deborah Lee Luskin (Restorative Justice Communicator Award)
Deborah Lee Luskin is a writer by vocation and a Vermonter by choice. As a regular contributor to Vermont Public Radio, she has broadcast several commentaries about Restorative Justice in Vermont, one of which attracted a $4,000 gift that supported the New England Youth Theater’s production of The Quality of Mercy. Deb says when she stumbled upon restorative justice it profoundly changed her life. She has been a volunteer at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center since 2007 and served on both our Reparative Panels and on the Citizens Advisory Board. Her work can be found here. Links to some of Deborah’s work on restorative justice is here.
2016 Volunteer Recognition Awards
June Bascom, Montpelier
Ed Brochu, Newport
Fred Davis, Hartford
Gabe Dixon, Burlington
Joan Eckley, Rutland
Phyllis Hanley and Rod Perry, Barre
Greg MacDonald, St. Johnsbury
Rev. Cheryl Meachen, Brattleboro
Adina Panitch, Williston
Kristin Prior, Franklin Grande Isle
Sue Schoolcraft, Randolph