The Williston Community Justice Center (WCJC) is a community-based restorative justice center that serves the towns of Williston, Richmond, Huntington, Bolton, Hinesburg, and St. George. WCJC assistance may include consulting, advising, educating, referring, convening, advocating, and delivering a variety of services. The services include mediation, conflict management, dispute resolution, and restorative justice programs in response to actual or potential conflicts and wrongdoings in the community. The WCJC works with the Williston Police Department, the Vermont Department of Corrections, and with pre-charge and court referrals in order to assess the impact of specific crimes on victims and the community.
The WCJC board consists of up to 20 community volunteers appointed by the Williston Selectboard to staggered three-year terms. The WCJC also employs a part-time director and a part-time coordinator.
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 mentor one eighth-grade student per year from the Williston Central School as part of their Capstone Project.
We train community members, school teachers and staff, town staff members, police officers, firemen, clergy members, and citizens on conflict management and dispute resolution, tolerance, fairness, safety, and inclusion.
Past trainings have included Difficult Conversations and How to Have Them, Victim Advocacy, Bridges Out of Poverty, COSA training, COSA 101, Restorative Justice Process training and Circles.
- Trainings Involving Youth We work with middle school and elementary students to teach them about Internet safety, and educate the community on substance abuse and community resource navigation for our volunteers.
- Trainings for Senior Living We offer trainings in residential centers on bullying, harassment, and positive communal living.