Burlington’s Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime Publishes Implementation Guide to Replicate Program Nationwide
Burlington’s Parallel Justice Program, the Burlington Community Justice Center, and the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services are proud to announce the release of the Parallel Justice Implementation Guide, “Building Parallel Justice: A Guide from Burlington, Vermont.” The Guide, the first of its kind in the nation, provides a model for replicating and implementing a Parallel Justice-style program for victims of crime in other communities across the nation.
“We hope that the questions posed in this Implementation Guide, combined with the perspective of what we’ve learned in Burlington along the way, will help you discern what will work best inyour community and plot a course to get there. With each community that uses this method to make lasting changes, we move closer to a society that recognizes victims and survivors of crime as the resilient, empowered, and unique individuals they are” writes Lorraine “Rain” Banbury, Burlington Parallel Justice Specialist from 2008-2018 and primary author of the Guide.
Parallel Justice is a program of the Burlington Community Justice Center, a division of the City of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office. Launched in 2006, Parallel Justice is one of the nation’s oldest and longest-running programs of its kind to support those impacted by crime, whether or not they report the crime to law enforcement. Other Vermont communities have since started their own Parallel Justice programs, including South Burlington and St. Albans.
“At the core of the Burlington story is an unwavering belief that victims of crime deserve justice, and that society has an obligation to provide a comprehensive communal response to the people who have been harmed by crime,” writes thought leader of the nationwide Parallel Justice movement, Susan Herman. She adds, “Providing justice to victims and addressing the harms they have suffered as Burlington does, requires not only treating victims better within the criminal justice process, it means developing more meaningful responses throughout a wider range of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and community institutions. Simply put, Burlington revamped the structure and provision of ‘victim services.’ And, most importantly, the concept of justice has been entirely redefined.”
“This implementation guide provides the national network of victim advocates and justice reformers plenty to ponder, because Burlington has broken new ground in advancing the cause of justice. I applaud Burlington for its pioneering work helping victims of crime rebuild their lives…. Just as Burlington has shown the way, others can now define the next frontier,” writes Herman.
“Building Parallel Justice: A Guide from Burlington, Vermont” is currently available online, with plans to publish hard copies in the near future. Burlington’s current Parallel Justice Specialists are Kim Jordan and Anthony Jackson-Miller. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .