Parallel Justice

Mural by Mary Lacey

Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime

Parallel Justice is a victim-centered approach to crime and harm that works parallel to (but independent from) the criminal legal system. We provide information, resources, and support to people victimized by crime and harm in Burlington, even if the offender is never identified or apprehended.

We support victims of all crimes and frequently help victims of vandalism (car or house windows broken into, tires slashed, etc.), simple assault, and theft.

Parallel Justice assistance can include:

  • emotional support,

  • safety planning,

  • information (criminal legal system, law enforcement communication, etc.)

  • referrals to other organizations,

  • systems advocacy,

  • financial assistance to meet basic needs.

Anyone can contact the Parallel Justice program for confidential support, information, and resources related to victimization and harm. Crimes do not need to be reported to the police in order to receive assistance.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN VICTIMIZED IN BURLINGTON, CONTACT PARALLEL JUSTICE SPECIALISTS:

 

Note: Parallel Justice Specialists are mandated reporters and must let authorities know if you tell them about

certain crimes, usually involving abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult, or a threat of imminent harm.

Parallel Justice: A Paradigm Shift in Serving Victims

The term Parallel Justice was coined by Susan Herman, former Executive Director of the National Center

for Victims of Crime. "Parallel Justice" describes a system that works parallel to the criminal justice system

and meets victims’ needs every step of the way, independent of what happens with an investigation or prosecution.

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 their needs.

Victims should be told that 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 community response.

Decisions about how to address victims’ needs should be based on sound information and research.

Do you want to learn more about Parallel Justice in Burlington?

Do you want to incorporate aspects of dedicated victim services and Parallel Justice in your community? 

 

​Download our Parallel Justice Implementation Guide,

“Building Parallel Justice” to learn about the path of Parallel Justice 

in Burlington and how you may replicate it in your community.​

Are you a victim-centered organization?

What is your current response to victims of crime?  

Our Self-Assessment of Victim-Centered Practices is a tool for organizations, agencies, and businesses to build awareness about

how they respond to people who experience crime and harm.

The Burlington Parallel Justice program can provide workshops and presentations for your group or organization! 

Parallel Justice strives to disrupt behaviors, attitudes,

and beliefs that perpetuate cycles of violence.

We seek to expand our efforts to meet the needs of an

increasingly diverse Burlington and Chittenden County community.

Parallel Justice Program Staff

  • Anthony Jackson-Miller, Parallel Justice Specialist, Burlington Police Department, 1 North Ave. Burlington VT, 05401

(802) 540-2394,  ajacksonmiller@bpdvt.org

  • Kim Jordan, Parallel Justice Specialist, Burlington Community Justice Center, 200 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401

(802) 264-0764,   kjordan@burlingtonvt.gov

  • Rachel Jolly, Assistant Director, Burlington Community Justice Center, 200 Church St. Burlington VT, 05401

(802) 865-7185,   rjolly@burlingtonvt.gov

Parallel Justice Commission

 

 Crime victims/survivors should not experience harm from the individuals and systems intended to support them. 

Burlington's Parallel Justice Commission is a panel of local

and state leaders, victim advocates, survivors of crime,

social service and health care providers, and other organizations whose work intersects with victims of crime.

Through their partnership, the Commission works to

coordinate resources and create systemic change 

for people impacted by crime and harm. 

The Charge of the Burlington Parallel Justice Commission is to:

  • Seek out and listen to victims’ experiences through a variety of methods;

  • Identify challenges and successes to affect policy, procedural, and process change within their own organizations;

  • Work together to improve inter‐agency relationships, connections, and collaborations;

  • Function as a multi‐disciplinary team to address barriers and improve results for victims;

  • Advocate for victims’ rights;

  • Improve access to victim services and community resources.

​Parallel Justice Commissioners

  • Omara Rivera-Vazquez – Grants Manager, VT Center for Crime Victim Services

  • Barbara Rachelson – Vermont State Representative for Chittenden County

  • Erika Smart – Assistant General Council, University of Vermont Medical Center

  • Danielle Levesque – Victim Services Specialist, VT Dept. of Corrections

  • Heather Danis – Health Services District Director, Burlington Office, Vermont Department of Health

  • Jane Helmstetter – Field Director, Agency of Human Services

  • Joe Speidel – Local Government and Community Relations Director, University Relations, University of Vermont

  • Mike Bensel – Executive Director, Pride Center of Vermont

  • Deputy Chief Jon Murad – Burlington Police Department

  • Karen Burns – Victim Advocate, Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office

  • Sarah George – Chittenden County State’s Attorney

  • Sarah Robinson – Deputy Director, Vermont Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

  • Susan Leonard, Interim Executive Director, HOPE Works

  • Ana Burke, Interim Executive Director, Steps to End Domestic Violence

  • Kim Anderson (interim) – Director of Development and Communications, Community Health Centers of Burlington

  • Mike Bensel - Executive Director, Pride Center of Vermont

200 Church Street
Burlington, VT 05401


(802) 865-7155

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