Restorative Community Justice of Southern Vermont (RCJSV) provides a range of assistance and solutions for people facing conflicts and disagreements. Our experienced volunteers lead training sessions and facilitate restorative practices in the community. All of our services are provided to the community free of charge.
Examples of RCJSV-facilitated interactions and circles include:
- A local police department and repeat (youth) offender;
- Two local businesses that were at loggerheads;
- A family facing child custody issues;
- Professionals encountering conflict within their workplace;
- Pro- and anti-gun use students at a local high school;
- A teacher and their class;
- School officials, a student, and a parent.
We cultivate connections and partnerships with other RJ practitioners and organizations in Windham County with the objective of forming a network of RJ/RP knowledge-sharing in service to our community.
Community Conflict Resolution
We offer mediation and reparative circles to members of the community. Reparative circles, also called circle conferences, bring together all parties to a conflict or dispute to talk about what happened and create a plan to repair the harm done. Where criminal justice asks the question: Who is guilty? Restorative justice asks: Who has been harmed? Restorative work acknowledges the harm done to the relationships between all parties in conflict and seeks to address the conflict at its source.
RCJSV volunteers gather family, friends and allies to assist a vulnerable person. We start by speaking with the person and asking them to list everyone in their life who has any connection with them. We conduct interviews with all of the affected parties to a conflict, and ask the consent of those people to be involved in a circle process.
Once we establish who will be in the circle, we facilitate a meeting of everyone involved to talk about possible solutions to the dispute. Our role is not to suggest or impose solutions, but to help the family/community members to devise a solution based on their own unique understanding of the situation. Once a solution has been suggested, we assist with the implementation of the solution. This could mean connecting folks to available resources that might help them, or checking in periodically to make sure goals are being met.
Interested in contracting our services to solve a dispute in your community? Fill out the form on our website.
Training & Facilitation
RCJSV hosts monthly trainings to educate community members on how to use restorative justice practices. All of the facilities that host the trainings are donated by our partner schools, churches, libraries, and other community organizations.
Trainings are provided free of charge (though participants are welcome to leave donations for the hosting organization). Trainees can expect to:
- learn about restorative practices.
- develop skills in nonviolent communication, active listening, and mediation.
- learn how to conduct intake assessments with circle participants.
- participate in role-playing exercises and simulations.
Individuals who complete a training with RCJSV are invited to volunteer with the organization and host restorative circles in their own communities.
RCJSV has established partnerships with local schools, libraries, churches, and community organizations which provide venues for trainings and help keep these services free of charge and accessible to all.
Interested in getting on our email list to stay tuned to monthly trainings and other events? Fill out the form on our website.