ARTICLE 1: PURPOSE
A. Mission Statement and Description of the Williston Community Justice Center
The Williston Community Justice Center (WCJC) is committed to promoting and advancing the safety and wellbeing of our communities by providing resources for positive change, striving to dismantle patterns of racial and economic disparity, and seeking to repair damaged relationships through restorative practices tailored to meet the unique needs of impacted and responsible parties.
B. Purpose of the WCJC
- Promote the mission of the WCJC by providing the means and services which encompass accepted restorative practices.
- Ensure that victims of crime in our service area have appropriate opportunities to have their voice heard and are afforded the opportunity to participate in restorative processes embraced by the WCJC.
- Delegate authority to the Executive Director, staff and members to carry out the work of the WCJC that accomplishes the stated mission.
- Identify and support stakeholders who have standing within the service area of the WCJC. (Williston, Richmond, Bolton, Huntington, Hinesburg and St. George)
- Collaborate with stakeholders and other community service providers to develop objectives for programs and services as needed to promote the safety and well-being within our service communities by providing assistance to law enforcement, Vermont Department of Corrections and other community partners who are using best restorative practices.
ARTICLE 2: OPERATING PRINCIPLES
A. Model Restorative Justice Values
The WCJC will be operated and governed in a manner that reflects the main beliefs, values, and philosophical perspectives associated with best practices of restorative justice.
B. Williston Community Justice Center Core Values
Fairness, Justice, Equity, & Inclusion
We warmly welcome all people in our communities, inclusive of their race, sex, gender/ expression, relationships, age, abilities, mental and physical health, religion, national origin, body type/appearance, income, education, personal history, generational history, employment status, parental status, social status, and any other factor that makes a person who they are. We reject systemic and overt racism, and we reject discrimination based on sex or sexual preference, or gender identity or expression. When inequitable systems and structures in our communities are contributing factors to harm caused, we address them through acknowledgement, resource finding, relationship building, and creative repair in order to improve the equity for affected parties.
Trust & Integrity
We trust the restorative process both in our communication and our conduct. We workto build trust between everyone involved in the process. We trust the truth in eachperson’s story and feelings. We trust in the potential of the individual. We trust in the strength of our communities. We hold ourselves to the highest standard in our wordsand actions. We expect this of ourselves and each other.
We hold ourselves and others accountable for our actions, attitudes, choices, and words. We strive to put the needs of affected parties and communities first. We consistently train and inquire to ensure we uphold our values and our mission and to advance restorative practices.
Empathy & Respect
We demonstrate kindness, empathy, compassion and generosity through community and civic service. We acknowledge our shared humanity and we honor it.
We acknowledge the importance of building and maintaining relationships within our communities through restorative processes and practices. We meet people where they are and accompany them through the restorative process to bring about change and accountability. Our work ripples outward to enhance the safety and wellbeing of all within our shared communities.
ARTICLE 3: MEMBERSHIP
A. Composition of Board Membership
- The WCJC membership shall consist of a sufficient number of members to complete the mission of the center and reflect the diversity of the people served by the WCJC.
- WCJC members will live, work or have other meaningful affiliation with one of the towns in which the WCJC serves.
- The WCJC membership shall include one or more Youth Panels comprised of high school students to fulfill the mission of the center as it pertains to youth within the service area encompassed by the WCJC. Youth members shall have full membership and corresponding responsibilities as set forth in the WCJC bylaws.
B. Recruitment and Selection of Members
The WCJC will be responsible for the recruitment, selection and appointment for all members.
- New nominees will be interviewed and reviewed by a committee consisting of WCJC staff, Chiefs of Police within the Center’s service area and two (2) Executive Board members.
- Recommendations for membership will be forwarded to the Executive Board for final approval and appointment.
- Members assigned to the Executive Board providing governance to the WCJC shall be interviewed and appointed by the Williston Select Board.
C. Expectations of All Members
- Members are expected to embrace and promote the values of the of the WCJC.
- Members are expected to adhere to and promote best practices and principles of restorative justice.
- Members are expected to commit a sufficient amount of time to carry out the work of the WCJC. Executive Board members are expected to meet monthly and members are expected to meet on a quarterly basis.
- All members are required to participate in one or more of the restorative processes or programs offered by the WCJC.
- All members are expected to participate in three trainings per year provided by the WCJC, and attend all trainings required by the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC), police departments or as defined in grant terms.
- All members are expected to fulfill the mission and vision of the WCJC to the best of their ability. Should members be unavailable for their duties, the member is expected to communicate this to staff or the Board Chair.
- If a conflict of interest exists between a referral and a member, the member will recuse themselves from the process as soon as the conflict is recognized. The member shall follow the conditions set forth in the Town’s Volunteer Policy and Conflict of Interest Ordinance.
D. Terms of Membership
- Executive Board members shall serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms at a time. A member may return to serving on the Executive Board for additional terms after the initial two consecutive terms occur as long as there is a break in service on the Executive Board for at least one year.
- All other members will serve at the pleasure of the Town as deemed appropriate.
E. Membership Separation
- Voluntary Separation. Voluntary separation of service for members should be submitted in writing to the WCJC Executive Director, who will be responsible for notifying the Williston Chief of Police, Town Manager and Select Board in writing of the separation and vacancy of the position.
- Involuntary Separation. The following steps will be taken should there be a need to invoke involuntary separation for any of the reasons listed in section 3:
- The Executive Director will notify the Chief of Police and Town Manager in writing regarding the member’s issue(s).
- WCJC staff and Chief of Police will meet with the member to discuss the issue(s) and decide which restorative approach might be used to remedy the concern and establish a remediation plan.
- A time frame of at least 30 days will be offered to bring closure to the issue.
- A restorative panel may be charged with settling the issue. On the panel will be the WCJC staff, Executive Board members when deemed appropriate and members of the DOC Reparative Services Division. Additional restorative panel members may be comprised of the Chief of Police or designee from one of the WCJC’s service areas.
- After the remediation period is finished, an appropriate staff member or designee will meet with the member in the presence of the Chief of Police or designee to establish compliance with the remediation plan.
- If member has not satisfactorily complied with the remediation plan, a recommendation to the Select Board to terminate membership.
- Members may be subjected to disciplinary action set forth above for any of, but not limited to, the following reasons:
- Breach of confidentiality.
- Failure to regularly attend scheduled panels, restorative programs or trainings as described in the bylaws.
- Failure to respond to direction/supervision by WCJC staff or failure to perform the essential tasks which are required to call out the mission and vision of the WCJC.
- Attend any WCJC sponsored event or process under the influence of controlled substances, to include alcohol.
- Failure to recuse oneself in the presence of a conflict of interest with a referral.
- Any conduct that impairs the WCJC’s efficiency, integrity, effectiveness or causes public harm and mistrust.
- Inappropriate conduct towards any participant of the WCJC or stakeholder.
- Any violation of the WCJC, Town of Williston or DOC policies or work rules, to include any violations as defined in grant terms or language.
ARTICLE 4: GOVERNANCE
- Executive Director
- The WCJC Executive Director, who is a Town employee, shall have general management authority in respect to the full operation of the WCJC. The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Town Manager. The Executive Director is responsible for all other employment decisions and shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of the Executive Board.
- The Executive Director reports to the Chief of Police. The “Town of Williston Personal Policy” governs the hiring and all conditions of the Executive Director’s employment, the terms of which are incorporated by reference. The WCJC Executive Board will be consulted in hiring the Executive Director.
- The Executive Director shall have the responsibility for the operation of the WCJC, including all duties normally assigned to an operating executive and subject to directives from the Select Board and Chief of Police.
- The Executive Director shall meet monthly with the Executive Board.
- Executive Board
- The board shall consist of nine members, to include a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Youth Leader who will be voted into office by Executive Board members.
- The board will recommend policy and policy changes to the Executive Director and Select Board.
- The board will serve as a sounding board for the Executive Director.
- The board will oversee the long-range strategic plan to be shared with the Select Board and oversee the progress towards its goals and objectives.
ARTICLE 5: JURISDICTION
The WCJC may accept referrals that emanate in towns within the defined service areas or as deemed appropriate. This jurisdiction is defined by the DOC which provides the operating grant for the WCJC
ARTICLE 6: ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF BY LAWS
These Bylaws were originally adopted by the Williston Select Board on November 15, 2010 and have been amended since adoption.
Amendment of these Bylaws will be formulated in collaboration with the Williston Chief of Police and approved by a majority of the WCJC Executive Board prior to submission to the Williston Select Board for final approval.