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The goal of restorative justice at Youth Services is to give equal weight, care and consideration to community, victim and offender. Youth Services utilizes restorative justice practices, giving the participants who violated the law the opportunity to identify and repair the harm done to the victim, the community and themselves. Throughout the process, all parties are shown respect and empathy.We ensure the victims have a voice and that the community is actively involved.The offender works to not only repair the harm done to others, but also to learn how the address the underlying causes for their behavior.
A contract may include community service, a written essay or other creative project, letters of apology, restitution or participation in an appropriate life skills group.Once the youth or adult completes all conditions outlined by the contract, he or she is closed successfully from the program.Individuals who do not successfully complete their contracts are returned to court.
Juvenile & Adult Court Diversion is a voluntary and confidential alternative to court proceedings. See video below.
Teen Alcohol Safety Program TASP is for 16- to 21-year-old youth who are referred to the program after receiving a notice to report from a police officer for possession and/or consumption of alcohol and the misrepresentation of their age in order to obtain alcohol.
Balanced and Restorative Justice works with youth ages 13 through 17 who have been adjudicated in Family Court, are on probation or require additional support specified by the Department for Children and Families, which oversees juvenile justice in Vermont.
The Street Checker provides supervision and support to youth on probation, in custody or at risk of illegal behavior, working with youth (individually or in groups) to develop the life skills important to being a productive member of the community.
Community members can play a critical role as volunteer by serving as a Court Diversion Board member or Restorative Panel member with a commitment of only two hours a month.
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Tommy was an adjudicated youth that met with the Reparative Panel and worked with Youth Services’ Street Checker. He was adamant that he did not commit burglary, but was with other youths that did. This past winter he happened to find a wallet at the town ski slope. He contacted the person who lost it and returned it intact.
Unbeknownst to Tommy at the time, the owner was another employee of Youth Services, or else we might not know of this success. Tommy’s parents felt that their son had gained a lot from the program.