The Burlington Community Justice Center envisions a safe and resilient community where everyone is supported when crime and conflict occur. We work toward this vision by creating opportunities with the community to address the effects of crime and conflict.
Programs and Services
Restorative Victim Services
Through partnership with the Police Department and the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, the Parallel Justice Program offers support, validation, and resources to victims of all crimes, including property crimes such as vandalism or theft. We work with any victim of a crime that occurred in Burlington, even if a perpetrator is never caught, and even if the crime is not reported to the police. Parallel Justice connects affected parties with other organizations who can assist them, with businesses in our community who offer discounts and donations, and with a commission that can address system-wide problems and barriers that victims face.
Restorative Justice Programs
Restorative justice programs allow for direct community involvement in the resolution of criminal offenses through participation in Restorative Justice Panels, restorative conferences and/or restorative circles. People directly affected by a crime have an opportunity to participate in a justice process where they can articulate their needs, ask questions, seek restorative actions and receive support from their community. Those responsible for a crime can learn about the harm, make amends, and build a positive connection with their community.
Restorative Reentry Programs
These programs enhance community safety as people return to their communities from prison. Services offered include facilitating dialogue between inmates and family to promote healing and reintegration and the opportunity to learn new skills and make amends. Those who have committed serious offenses may join a Circle of Support and Accountability (COSA), a personalized network of community members who volunteer their time to support the person’s actions as he or she builds a crime-free life. Through collaboration with VABIR (the Vermont Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation), a CJC-based employment specialist helps job seekers with criminal records develop the skills and resources they need to gain employment. Resource Navigation is a short-term service intended to assist offenders with needs other than employment, such as accessing resources available through other agencies or navigating social services.
Community Conflict Assistance
This program facilitates dialogue related to neighborhood and community issues. Professional mediation services help community members talk about and find solutions to their conflicts, which may involve such issues as noise, pets, boundaries, and landlord-tenant disputes.
Retail Theft Awareness & Prevention (RTAP)
These classes are designed for people who have committed retail theft. The curriculum incorporates evidence-based “Thinking for a Change” activities, Motivational Interviewing techniques, and the principles of restorative justice.
Restorative Noise Program
This program addresses the impact of noise and provides a restorative response that is constructive for people who have received noise tickets and for the community as a whole.