Yes, we are! While our programs look a little different during COVID-19, we are able to facilitate our programs virtually. This means you can participate in our programs while staying safe at home! You will still be expected to actively engage in the program, including attendance at appointments, but this can be done by phone or video conference. If you have any questions or concerns about participating in one of our programs during the pandemic, please reach out to your case manager or contact our office at (802) 775-2479.
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 confidential. There may be some exceptions to this, such as situations/information included in mandatory reporting requirements. We will 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. If you have any questions about confidentiality, including exceptions to it, please speak with your case manager.
Referrals are made on a case-by-case basis, and the referral process varies by person and program.
In Diversion or Tamarack, you may be notified of the referral at court. You or your defense attorney can also request consideration for a referral. The Civil DLS and Pretrial Services programs accept self-referrals. BARJ accepts at-risk and truancy referrals from any source, though referrals often come from schools.
If you have questions about whether you are eligible for a program or you are considering a referral, please contact our office at (802) 775-2479 so we can provide you with more information specific to your circumstances.
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 for an emergency, 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. During our communication with you, our Harmed Party Liaison will explain the program to which the offender (hereafter participant) was referred, your rights, and opportunities for engagement in the program.
You are encouraged to participate in the restorative process, but you are not required to do so. You can choose your level of involvement. Examples of participation include attending the restorative panel and providing input on the contract conditions, such as restitution. You do not need to have contact with the participant if you do not wish to; you can speak to the panel without the participant present or explore other means of involvement with the Harmed Party Liaison.
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 in the Diversion and Tamarack programs. Additional meetings may be required. You will also need to maintain ongoing communication with your case manager throughout your participation in the program.
If you are required to do a screening with our YSASP Coordinator, you would be asked to complete a computerized screening and have a conversation with our Coordinator regarding your substance use. From there, our YSASP Coordinator will inform you of the results and any further steps you will need to take to address your substance use and complete the program successfully.
This screening takes approximately ten minutes to complete. You will meet with the Pretrial Services Coordinator to answer approximately forty questions pertaining to your mental health and substance use. You will also have a conversation with the Coordinator regarding these matters. At the end of the screening, the Pretrial Services Coordinator will inform you if there is any need for a clinical assessment for mental health and/or substance use.
YASIs are risk assessments for juveniles. Certain programs, such as BARJ, may require the completion of a YASI. Other times, juveniles are referred to us from law enforcement agencies prior to attending a court hearing for the offense. To complete a YASI, the youth and their parent/legal guardian will meet with a case manager. The case manager will discuss a YASI in more depth and will ask questions about the youth’s life. Along with other topics, questions will cover the youth’s education, medical and legal history, and family dynamics. This risk assessment allows us to make a recommendation to the court about a referral to one of our programs or, if the youth is already involved with one of our programs, enables us to tailor contracts to fit their needs. If you are referred by law enforcement, please contact us at calling (802) 775-2479 or emailing us at [email protected].
Yes! As long as you have reliable means of communication and/or have access to internet, you will be able to participate from where you live. We can send you all required paperwork to sign electronically or by mail, and can conduct all meetings via phone call or video conference. You will still be required to attend scheduled meetings, sign paperwork relating to the program, and maintain active communication with your case manager throughout your participation in the program; however, this can be done remotely through phone, video conference, email, and mail. Your case manager can discuss this in more detail with you upon your referral to one of our programs.
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 may be present at a restorative panel. If you have conditions of release which prohibit contact between you and the victim(s), the case manager and Harmed Party Liaison will take this into consideration and alternatives for victim engagement will be presented so you will not violate your conditions. Your case manager will discuss victim engagement, including if the victim will be attending the restorative panel, with you. You can also bring people to support you, such as family members. If you have questions regarding who will be present for your panel, please contact your case manager.
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.
Yes! Volunteers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and non-disclosure agreement. If you have any questions about confidentiality, please contact your case manager.
You do not need to bring anything with you to a panel, unless otherwise specified by your case manager. If you would like, you can bring people or items (such as fidget spinners) with you to support 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.
COVID-19: We recognize that locating a community service site can be impacted by the pandemic, as some sites are not accepting volunteers at this time. You may also be concerned about completing community service, as it often requires contact with others. If you are concerned about completing community service for this reason, please bring it up during the development of your contract. We want the contract development to be a collaborative process, and encourage you to bring up concerns during this process. Please contact your case manager if you are not comfortable completing community service because of the pandemic or if you are struggling to find a site.
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.
This is highly individualized based on the contract and program. To determine your completion date, we look at what tasks have been assigned to you and come up with a reasonable length of time for you to complete them. Some programs, like Direct Referral cases in BARJ, have a deadline established by the court, which will factor into your completion deadline for this program. Tamarack cases are required to remain open for a minimum of 90 days (approximately 3 months). Regardless of which program you are in, you will be informed of your deadline by your case manager and it will be written into your contract.
If you have concerns regarding the length of your participation in the program, we encourage you to speak with your case manager.
Yes! Because of the pandemic, we have adapted our programming to be primarily virtual. If you are required to participate in a restorative panel, you can participate via video conference. If you do not have internet access, you can also participate by phone. Your case manager will discuss this in more detail with you.