Parallel Justice in Vermont
Parallel Justice is society's obligation to Crime Victims. It changes the focus to the needs of victims. It listens to crime victims and helps them identify their definition of justice. It then works collaboratively with community, business, government, and citizens as well as offenders to fulfill their unique needs. Parallel Justice acknowledges that the criminal justice system often falls short of meeting victims' needs.
The Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services believes strongly in the concept of parallel justice and is committed to establishing programs throughout the state that will help victims to regain control of their lives. Parallel Justice offers support and validation to victims whether the offender is caught or prosecuted.
So far, there is one established parallel justice program in Vermont. The Burlington program has been the product of a collaborative effort with courts, law enforcement, victim service professionals, and network programs who created their vision of parallel justice based on the following ten guiding principles.
Justice requires helping victims of crime rebuild their lives
All victims deserve justice.
All victims should be presumed credible unless there is reason to believe otherwise.
Victims' safety should be a top priority
Victims should experience no further harm
Victims' rights should be implemented and enforced.
Victims should have opportunities to talk about their experiences and needs.
Victims should be told what happened to them was wrong, and that every effort will be made to help them rebuild their lives.
Victims needs should be addressed through a comprehensive coordinated communal response
Decisions about how to address victims needs should be based on sound information and research.
-Courtesy of Susan Herman, Internationally Recognized Spokesperson and Author of Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime
If you would like more information on Parallel Justice in Vermont please contact
Sharon Davis, Special Projects Coordinator at 802-241-1250 ext. 111.
The Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, the state organization mandated to support victims of crime in Vermont, has been working with the National Center for Victims of Crime to implement a new concept called Parallel Justice.
The Burlington Parallel Justice Project - www.pjburlington.org
The Parallel Justice Project - www.paralleljustice.org