If you have not spoken to an agency representative already, you will need to contact our agency at (802) 775-2479. During this conversation, you should be prepared to tell us what program you’re being referred to, what the charge is, and when you’re available to come in for an appointment. We will also explain the program to you in more depth to prepare you for your first appointment.
You do not need a lawyer during your participation in the program, but you always have the right to speak with an attorney. Participants in some programs (e.g., Tamarack) may need to attend court before the case is referred to our agency. In these situations, you may want to be represented by a public defender or private attorney. However, you can waive that right and represent yourself.
All programs are completely confidential, unless you say you are going to hurt yourself or someone else. We do need to speak with certain individuals or agencies (e.g., defense attorney, court, police department, victims, etc.) during the course of your participation in the program. We will ask you to sign a release of information allowing us to discuss some details of your case with necessary individuals or agencies specific to your case.
Referrals are made on a case-by-case basis. You may be notified of the referral at court. You or your defense attorney can also request consideration for a referral.
You should consult with your case manager to determine what you need to bring to your first appointment. It may be useful to bring your referral paperwork with you to the appointment. If possible, you can bring a payment for your participation fee.
The first appointment is a chance for us to get to know you and for us to explain what you should expect during your participation in the program. We will discuss the basics of your family dynamics, financial situation, medical and legal history, employment, and education. We will also go over the specific circumstances surrounding your charge(s). We may ask other questions depending on your charge and the program to which you are being referred.
You should attend all scheduled appointments. If you are unable to, contact your case manager before your scheduled appointment time to reschedule.
If your minor child is a participant, you will need to attend all meetings with your child.
Parking is available directly on Center Street. You will have to pay for parking at the blue kiosks, which accept coins or credit cards. You can also park on other streets downtown and pay with coins at the black parking meters. If you plan on being here for an extended period of time (three hours or more), you pay for parking in the downtown parking garage above the Marble Valley Regional Transit Center located at 102 West Street, Rutland, Vermont.
Yes, your obligation to participate is voluntary. We are happy to explain possible alternatives for each program, so you are able to make an informed decision regarding your participation.
Our programs attempt to contact any victims. You are encouraged to participate, but can choose your level of involvement. If you so choose, you attend the panel and provide input as to contract conditions, such as restitution. You do not need to have contact with the participant; you may be able to speak to the panel without the participant present. This may occur if the participant has court orders against contact with you, or if it would create an unsafe or hostile environment.
The number and frequency of your meetings will be determined by your case manager. Typically, you should expect to attend at least one intake appointment and one restorative panel.
Restorative panels are facilitated by your case manager. You can also expect to see two or three trained, community volunteers. These volunteers represent the community when discussing the harm done to the community at large and the community’s interest in preventing reoffense. Victims have the option of being present at a restorative panel, so long as it does not create an unsafe or hostile environment. You can also bring people to support you, such as family members.
Panel members will want to hear a little about yourself and your offense in your own words. They will ask questions to ensure they understand what happened and that you are accepting responsibility for your illegal actions. You will also be asked to identify affected parties and describe the impact of your offense. Panel members will also want to know what you think is necessary to repair the harm done and ensure that this offense does not happen again.
You do not need to bring anything with you to a panel, unless otherwise specified by your case manager. Panel members will already have the police report. If you would like, you can bring people with you to act as supports during the meeting.
During a panel, you can expect to work with volunteers and your case manager to create a contract. This contract is designed to help participants take accountability for their illegal actions, repair the harm done to direct victims and the community at large, and create a clear plan to reduce the likelihood of reoffense.
Panels typically last between 30-60 minutes.
Community service can be completed at any nonprofit agency, or at other sites as approved by your case manager. This allows your community service to be tailored to your interests. You will need to have someone from the community service site verify your hours. During your panel, we will supply you with a community service log. If you need a replacement, feel free to stop by the office or contact your case manager to request being sent to you.
Your main responsibility is to ensure their attendance and to be supportive. You should encourage your child to be honest during the panel meeting. The restorative panel will want to hear directly from your child, but may also ask you additional questions.
You can choose to participate in the restorative panel, but it is not a requirement. Participants and victims will only attend the panel at the same time if it does not create an unsafe or hostile environment, or if the participant does not have court imposed conditions restricting their contact with you. If you are more comfortable, you can provide a verbal statement to the participants’ case manager or complete a paper victim impact statement. The case manager can then share the impact of the offense on you and your requests with the restorative panel.