Vermont Reparative Probation: An Evaluative Case Study of a Restorative Justice Model

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Nora Femenia


The Vermont Department of Corrections implemented its Reparative Probation Program in 1995, in response to a 1994 public opinion survey, in which citizens indicated broad support for programs with a reparative emphasis and active community involvement. The Reparative Boards are part of a mandated separation of probation into community corrections service units (designed to provide supervision for more serious cases) and court and reparative service units (which coordinate and provide administrative support to reparative boards). In later years, efforts have been made to align the program to the principles of Restorative Justice.

The purpose of this research is to help establish a benchmark for evaluating the effective performance of the Reparative Panels in Guilford and Bellows Falls, Vermont, as a way of establishing criteria to evaluate all Restorative Justice panels’ work in the state of Vermont.

The findings of this research have highlighted some of the challenges panel members encounter in their work. Regardless of what model or combination of models the community or the judicial system might choose, ongoing monitoring and evaluation will be needed to ensure that processes adhere to restorative justice principles, as no model or process is perfect. Monitoring and evaluation procedures will help the assessment of new models and the continuous improvement of existing restorative justice models.


Courts | Criminology and Criminal Justice

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