Internship: Youth Restorative Justice

We’ve just learned of a new internship opportunity—see below for the details. Note that even though the organization is located in Brattleboro (about 35 minutes north of Amherst), much of the work can be done remotely. This looks an especially good opportunity for those of you exploring the large overlapping areas between social work and law.

Youth Services, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vermont is seeking committed, thoughtful, and compassionate volunteers to assist in our victim outreach work. Legislation in Vermont provides the option to the State’s Attorney to refer cases where there may be an opportunity to repair the harm that was cause by the crime. We receive a wide range of referrals including theft, property destruction, crimes related to substance abuse, crimes where mental illness is a factor, and simple assault crimes. We do NOT take cases involving domestic violence or sexual assault.

The court diversion/restorative justice model provides an opportunity for the responsible party to be accountable, while also acknowledging and addressing the many factors that may contribute to a person to being arrested and charged with a crime (mental health, addiction, low resources/poverty, marginalization, lack of community support, homelessness etc.). Having the harmed party (referred to as “victim” in the court process) present at the restorative justice panel is often where true healing and reparation takes place. The restorative panel is also an opportunity to connect the responsible party with supportive resources as needed. 

Not all harmed parties want to take part in the process, and many need support throughout. Student volunteers or interns have been invaluable in making the initial contact, explaining the program to harmed parties, and—depending on availability—supporting the harmed party before and at the restorative panel. The hours are flexible and work can be completed remotely after an on-site training in Brattleboro. The work would be ideal for anyone interested in alternatives to the criminal justice system, sociology, psychology, gender and sexuality studies, racial justice, social justice, addiction, mental health or homelessness issues. We are happy to work with students and the school to receive potential credit.

Please contact Rosie Nevins-Alderfer, Director of Restorative Justice Programs for more information at or 802-257-0361 x216.