Restorative Programs

Restorative justice provides opportunities for people to right their wrongs. At LRC, par­ticipants meet with people they’ve impacted and/or other community members to ad­dress harm created and attend to the underlying causes of their behaviors. Thirty-two volunteers help support this process, meeting with participants regularly. Restorative interventions help participants be successful and avoid involvement in the traditional justice system.

Court Diversion

The Court Diversion program is an alternative and restorative justice response for adults age 18 and above who are charged with a crime. Diversion programming empowers collective community care by addressing the needs of the person harmed, the community, and the person who caused the harm.

The Tamarack program is an alternative and restorative justice response for adults age 18 and above who are charged with a crime, and who have a substance misuse or mental health treatment need, regardless of criminal history. The program helps connect participants to treatment services and assures accountability by applying a restorative process.

Referrals in FY21:

  • Adult Diversion: 92
  • Juvenile Diversion: 9
  • Tamarack: 18
  • PTS: 157
  • YSASP: 67

Total: 343

    Closures in FY21:

    • Adult Diversion: 77 closed; 61 successful [79%]
    • Juvenile Diversion: 10 closed; 10 successful [100%]
    • Tamarack: 7 closed; 5 successful [71%]
    • PTS: 78 closed; 44 successful [56%]
    • YSASP: 39 closed; 37 successful [95 %]

    Total: 217 closed; 163 successful [75%]

    Contact Ana Burke: (802) 888-0657 or aburke@lrcvt.org

     

    Pay your diversion fee 

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    Pretrial Services

    The court may order engagement in pretrial services or a person may choose to engage [self-referral]. The program offers support and accountability to adults accessing necessary mental health care, substance misuse treatment, or other services during the pretrial process.

    How does it work?
    The Pretrial Monitor offers potential participants three confidential assessments focusing on mental health, substance use, and risk of non-appearance/risk of reoffense. The specific details of the assessments will not be shared with the prosecutor or the Court. The State’s Attorney (prosecutor) may review a summary of the results, and may recommend a case for the precharge program. The Judge may consider a summary of the results in determining bail or conditions of release.

    Precharge Program
    The State’s Attorney might review the screening results and offer participants the opportunity to take part in a program that does not involve filing the case with the court. The participant would sign an agreement that focuses on reducing future offenses and work toward repairing any harm caused. Terms of the agreement could include mental health and substance use supports and participation in an alternative justice program, and/or restitution. Under this program, the Pretrial Monitor may refer participants to appropriate support services and send progress reports to the State’s Attorney.

    Conditions of Release
    If the State’s Attorney files the case with the court, the Judge may use the results of the screening in determining bail and conditions of release. Conditions may include mental health and/or substance use assessments. The Pretrial Monitor may refer participants to appropriate services, and send reminders of Court appearance dates.

    Contact John Strout: (802) 888-0548 or jstrout@lrcvt.org

    Reparative Program

    As a condition of probation, individuals aged 18 and older meet with community volunteers to examine the impact of their crime. They discuss who was harmed or impacted by their actions, and decide how to make reparation and prevent future harm.

    Contact Bobby Blanchard-Lewis: (914) 589-8481 or bblanchard@lrcvt.org

    Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program (YSASP)

    YSASP provides an alternative to the civil court process for youth ages 16 through 20 who violate Vermont’s underage alcohol or marijuana laws. The YSASP case managers supervise individualized contracts, which include an assessment by a certified or licensed substance abuse counselor, a program fee, and other activities designed to promote learning and reflection.

    In FY’ 20:

    71 youth participated and 78% successfully completed the program.

    Contact Emilie Manchester: (802) 798-9213 or emanchester@lrcvt.org

    Pay your YSASP fee

    Driver’s License Reinstatement Program

    The Civil DLS Diversion Program is designed to help people regain their driver’s license while they pay off their fines and fees. Participants work with Diversion staff to develop a contract including a payment plan that is presented to the Vermont Judicial Bureau (VJB) for review. Upon approval by VJB Hearing Officer, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is notified that the person is in compliance with the VJB. DMV reinstatement requirements must also be met before the person’s driver’s license is reinstated.

    Some people may be eligible for a reduction in their debt, and some may provide community service and/or participate in an educational program in exchange for a reduction in fines and fees owed.

    Eligibility

    First, a person must have met the underlying suspension requirements, such as a serving out a suspension period required by accumulation of points.

    Not everyone is eligible for this program. People whose current suspension is a result of a DUI or certain other serious offenses are not eligible for this program.

    Requirements:

    Participants must attend an initial meeting with a Diversion staff person to examine:

    • The reasons for license suspension
    • Their financial situation
    • Steps needed to get the driver’s license reinstated
    • How to pay off their fines and fees
    • Fill out a financial affidavit describing personal income and bills.
    • Develop and follow a plan to pay off fines and fees owed to the State. This plan may include other conditions, such as community service.
    • Attend follow up meetings as needed.
    • Pay a down payment of $25 toward the program fee of $300. The balance of the fee is included in the payment plan, and may be reduced based on a person’s financial situation.

    Upon approval of the contract and payment plan by the Vermont Judicial Bureau– and satisfaction of other DMV requirements (such as a road test, obtaining SR-22 auto insurance, taking care of any traffic fines owed to other states, etc.),  participants in the program will have their driver’s license reinstated.

    Failure to follow the contract, including the payment plan, leads to suspension of the person’s driver’s license.

    Successful completion means past civil violations will not count toward more serious criminal charges.

    Contact Ana Burke: (802) 888-0657 or aburke@lrcvt.org

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