BENNINGTON -- The Center for Restorative Justice, 439 Main St., will be showcasing its programs during an open house on Wednesday night.
According to CRJ Executive Director Leitha Cipriano, the evening will be dedicated to informing guests about both old and new programs offered by the organization.
"We think it will be a good opportunity for people to learn about what we do," she said. "A lot of people usually associate us with one program -- court diversion -- but we offer a wide range of opportunities and programs beyond that."
Cipriano said that informational sessions will be held in five different rooms throughout the CRJ office space, each room designated to a different program.
Upon arrival, guests will be given a map and literature detailing both the location and description of each room, as well as the array of programs offered by the CRJ.
Among the programs featured will include the Youth Support programs, the Youth Substance Abuse Safety program, Reentry Services, and the newly implemented Driving with License Suspension Diversion program.
"The DLS program is one we really want to highlight," Cipriano said, adding that a woman who has successfully completed the program will be in attendance and will be available to speak with prospective individuals.
According to Cipriano, the diversion program, which offers local drivers with suspended licenses the ability to regain their licenses and generate payment plans for any accumulated fines, was created in January with the passing of Act 147 by the Vermont Supreme Court. The CRJ began offering the program to local drivers this past May.
Cipriano said she hopes the open house will also serve as an opportunity to attract and recruit new volunteers for the organization.
In addition to highlighting the nonprofit's various programs, a room will be dedicated to the CRJ Community Restorative Boards, where staff member Bill Brown will explain the both the value and responsibilities of serving as a Community Restorative Panel volunteer.
"We're really hoping the community takes advantage of this opportunity to stop in and learn more about a little non-profit that has a big impact on the community," Cipriano said.
CRJ is located at 439 Main St. in Bennington. The office is on the second floor. Enter through the red door between Armstrong Jewelers and the Crazy Russian Girls bakery.
The CRJ is a non-profit community agency that has been providing programs and services throughout Bennington County for more than 30 years.
Its programs are based on the principles of restorative justice, which is an alternative philosophy of justice that focuses on the people and communiteis harmed by crime. Restorative justice brings together those most affectedby the crime to help determine what the offender may do to begin to make ammends.
Those unable to attend the open house may learn more about CRJ and its programs by calling 802-447-1595 or by visiting www.bcrj.org.
Contact Elizabeth A. Conkey at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @bethconkey.