The organizations that merged to form the Franklin Grand Isle Regional Justice Center have proudly served Franklin and Grand Isle Counties for over 30 years. Together with the community, we have worked tirelessly to build healthy and safe neighborhoods, assist and support victims of crime, foster positive youth development, and help our participants become successful members of society. It is our strong belief in the importance of healthy communities that has motivated us to help thousands of Franklin County residents, many of them youth.
Keeping Franklin and Grand Isle Counties healthy and thriving is a community effort; we hope you will join us in supporting our work ahead. We strive to encourage positive change for the people that we serve and give them a 2nd chance at a more successful and fulfilling life.
Please consider volunteering for one of our panels. You will find descriptions and contact information below.
Contact: Rob Thayer | Restorative Reintegration Specialist
Office: 802-524-7006 | Cell: 802-238-7525
We are looking for passionate and committed community members who want to make a difference in the lives of individuals who have been convicted of a wide range of offenses. Volunteers will help support an offender who has been released from prison to successfully re-enter the community through positive connections and encouragement. Additionally, by holding the offender accountable, volunteers have the power to end the cycle of crime. It is through these relationships of support and compassion that those who have damaged others, can change through acceptance and social reconciliation.
Purpose: The Circle of Support and Accountability (COSA) reentry program is based on a successful international restorative justice model of assisting serious offenders reintegrate into their communities. Trained COSA volunteers work in teams of three to five and meet weekly with the core member to support him/her in returning to the community and managing everyday living.
- Must be at least 18 years old and complete a volunteer application, submit two references, and interview with COSA staff member
- Must complete Vermont Department of Corrections volunteer training, which includes a criminal background check
- Complete COSA member training
- Commit to 1 year of COSA involvement, circles meet 1-2 hours per week, but with more time in the start-up process
Restorative Justice Panels
Contact: Chloe Collins | Restorative Justice Panel Manager
What is Restorative Justice?
Criminal justice looks at a crime as a violation of the law and requires the state to determine blame and impose punishment. Alternatively, Restorative Justice looks at crime as a violation of people and relationships and then involves victims, offenders, and the community in an effort to put things right. The central focus in Restorative Justice is repairing the harm.
What would your responsibilities as a volunteer be?
- Prepare for and attend Reparative Board meetings regularly.
- Work as a team with 2-4 other Board members during the meeting to understand the harm caused and the best way for a party to make amends and not re-offend.
- Work with participant to construct a reparative contract for the responsible party. Support participant to reflect and construct contract conditions based on how to repair the harm done in their own case.
- Apply the principles of Restorative Justice through the process, which means understanding the people affected, the community, and how to best work with the responsible party to create lasting solutions.