The Community Restorative Justice Center, Inc. (CRJC) provides opportunities for people to change the way they treat each other in order to maintain our communities as safe and enjoyable places to live, work and play.
The CRJC, located in St. Johnsbury, is the second oldest justice center in Vermont, having been organized in 1999. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and provides service to all of Caledonia County and Southern Essex County. It also is connected to services in northern Essex County.
Programs and Services
Restorative Victim Services
Victims are invited to participate in all restorative justice programs to the extent that they feel comfortable.
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.
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.
We offer legal clinics, free of charge, on a monthly basis.
Johnsbury Parking Board
This board hears parking ticket appeals from community members.
Information and Referral Services
We communicate with other organizations to provide information and referrals for participants, businesses, community members, and schools.
Facilitation of Community Dialogue
We provide facilitated discussions within the community on an as-needed basis.
Outreach and Community Organizing
The CRJC supports eight neighborhood and tenant associations. With the support of the St. Johnsbury police chief, we reach out and conduct community organizing work in several areas of town, providing support to the first neighborhood organization that we helped organize in 2003, and continuing to launch in more communities. Communities organized in this way serve as a protective factor against criminal acts in the neighborhoods, and provide an opportunity for dialogue between local law enforcement, probation and parole officers, and residents.
Collaborating with Community
The Community Restorative Justice Center is a key player in local community-wide collaborations, including the Equal Exchange TimeBank, housed at the center, which addresses homelessness, the Drug Abuse Resistance Team (DART), the Caledonia and southern Essex HelpFund, and other efforts.
CRJC Staff and Volunteers
The Community Restorative Justice Center in St. Johnsbury has a full time director, a full-time restorative reintegration specialist, a part-time restorative justice coordinator, a part-time legal program coordinator, a part-time mediation specialist, a bookkeeper, and a front office receptionist. We also have more than 90 highly active volunteers who provide nearly all CRJC services on a regular and ongoing basis.
To get involved, and for more information, contact us at (802) 748-2977 or visit our website: www.communityrjc.org