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“Community reparative boards in Vermont: Theory and practice.”

Karp, David R
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative community justice: Repairing harm and transforming communities, ed. Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff, 199-217. With an introduction by Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Co.

Community reparative boards constitute one example of non-adversarial decision-making practices inspired by restorative and community justice perspectives. Such boards operate at the local level and consist of citizen volunteers. The authors delineate three key goals of community reparative boards: (1) inclusion of community members in the justice process; (2) rectification of harm caused by crime; and (3) reintegration of offenders into the community. With these foundations in mind, the authors examine the Vermont Reparative Probation Program. They describe the board process. This includes explaining board structure, training, and recruitment; and asking what such boards are trying to accomplish. The authors also identify ideas and practices that locate community reparative boards in restorative and community philosophies. These include the following: development of community capacities to deal with problems; inclusion of victims and other relevant parties in the decision-making process; and engagement with offenders to elicit remorse and make amends. Moreover, they identify four characteristics of community justice programs: system accessibility; citizen participation; restorative justice decision-making; and reintegration. Lastly, the authors acknowledge certain critiques of community reparative boards as they exist in actual practice.


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