Vermont support groups help former inmates reintegrate
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — Community justice centers in Vermont are using support groups to help reduce recidivism.
The Caledonian-Record reports volunteers in Circles of Support and Accountability establish relationships with inmates while they’re incarcerated and help them transition once they’re released. Volunteers host weekly support meetings where former inmates can share their concerns and get help reintegrating into the community.
Department of Corrections official Derek Miodownik says Vermont has invested in a restorative model that invites community members to help former inmates through the state’s 20 justice centers.
Susan Cherry, who serves as the Executive Director of the St. Johnsbury Community Justice Center, says centers across the state are trying to make Vermonters more familiar with their efforts. Cherry says the work is special because volunteers all act out of kindness.
Information from: The Caledonian-Record, http://www.caledonianrecord.com