FAQ

General:

I was referred to one of your programs. Now what?

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.

Do I need a lawyer?

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.

Are the programs confidential?

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.

How do I know if I am eligible for a program?

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.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

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.

What questions should I expect during my first appointment?

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.

I am unable to attend an appointment. What should I do?

You should attend all scheduled appointments. If you are unable to, contact your case manager before your scheduled appointment time to reschedule.

I am the parent of a juvenile participant. Do I need to attend meetings?

If your minor child is a participant, you will need to attend all meetings with your child.

Where should I park?

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.

Is participation voluntary?

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.

I am the victim. What will be expected of me?

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.

How many appointments will I need to attend?

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.

What will I be asked to do for a YSASP screening?

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.

What is the mental health and substance use screening through Tamarack and Pretrial Services?

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.

Costs:

What is restitution?

Victims may have expenses of losses that are related to illegal actions. Examples of expenses or losses include stolen or damaged property, medical expenses, lost products, and lost wages. Reimbursement for these expenses is called restitution. It may include return of property, money, or providing a service.

Will I need to pay restitution?

Restitution is determined on an individualized basis.

Are there fees associated with participation in your programs?

The fee for participation depends on the program. Some programs, such as BARJ, do not have a participation fee.  Other programs, including Tamarack or Diversion, do have a fee to participate. However, these fees are still less than court surcharges you would accrue through the traditional court process. You may be eligible for a reduction, and payment plans are available.

What forms of payment do you accept?

At this time, we only accept bank checks or money orders. We do not accept cash, personal checks, or credit cards.

Where do I send payments?

You should send payments directly to our office: Rutland County Restorative Justice Center, 50 Center Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701. If you know your case manager’s name or the program you are in, you can include that in the mailing address. Please write your name legibly on the check or envelope to ensure you get credit for your payment.

How do I drop off a payment outside of business hours?

We have a mailbox located on the front of our building, where you can drop off payments when we are closed. Please be sure to write your name legibly on the check or envelope to ensure you get credit for your payment.

I was told to contact RCRCJ for a juvenile risk assessment. What is it and who do I contact?

YASIs are risk assessments for juvenile participants. 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 Katie Dutton at (802) 558-6297 or Amy Gauthier at (802) 417-7438.

Panels:

Who is at a 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.

What questions should I expect during a panel?

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.

What should I bring to a restorative panel?

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.

What is the goal of a restorative panel?

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.

How long do panels last?

Panels typically last between 30-60 minutes.

I am required to complete community service. Where can I do it and how do I log my hours?

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.

I am the parent of a juvenile participant. What is my role during a restorative panel?

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.

I am the victim. Can I participate in the restorative panel?

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.

How long will I have to complete my contract?

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.