Introduction to Collaborative Justice in Vermont

“Collaboration is the process of working together to achieve a common goal that is impossible to reach without the efforts of others.” Collaborative Justice Resource Center

Collaborative justice is developing in Vermont. Certain counties, such as Chittenden, lead the way with a bold new approach to criminal justice in Vermont.

What is Collaborative Justice?

While I don’t generally support quoting large chunks of text – I also believe that when something is said well it should be relied upon. The Collaborative Justice Resource Center defines it as “a unique and promising approach to criminal justice that seeks to work toward the more effective resolution of these problems. Rather than relying on single agencies to solve their respective problems, it recognizes that many criminal justice problems are systemic and require a coordinated and collaborative response to the most pressing issues facing our justice system today. Collaborative justice partnerships—and the ability to share information, develop common goals, and create compatible internal policies to support those goals—have significant potential to positively impact crime, increase public confidence, and reduce costs throughout the justice system. Court community and criminal justice professionals join forces to analyze problems and create responsive solutions; and judges, court administrators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation and parole representatives, corrections personnel, victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and public and private treatment providers reach out to one another to forge partnerships that will enable them to address complex medical, social, fiscal, and behavioral problems that pose significant threats to the safety and well–being of our communities.”

Why does Collaborative Justice Matter in Vermont?

Vermont is a rural state with limited resources, but Vermont also has a thriving community network that believes in supporting its residents through turbulent times. We were hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Most Vermonters know at least one friend, family member or co-worker struggling with addiction.

As the opioid epidemic tore through our families and our state, prosecutors, law enforcement, counselors, defense attorneys and judges recognized our stale approach to drug related crime wasn’t working. We realized that, in the face of addiction, a defendant, a judge, a prosecutor, a police officer and a victim may all have the same goal: helping someone battle addiction and lead a fulfilling life. Vermont is committed to pulling together to offer a hand to stand back up when someone is down. 

Contact Burke Law for a free criminal case review today.

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