NOTICE: Updated May 2021

 Due to the COVID pandemic, CRJ’s office remains closed to in-person services, however the building is open to anyone to stop by to drop off materials for case managers. The office is fully staffed Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 4:30, and on Fridays staff work remotely.

Threads teen clothing shop is open to all teen Mondays – Thursdays 2:30 – 4:30. Masks and social distancing is required at all times. CRJ also limits the number of shoppers in Threads at any given time. 

Restorative programming is being conducted virtually using video conferencing and conference calls.

Please reach out to CRJ Staff by the usual means; staff will be checking phone and email regularly.

Thank you for your patience. 


CRJ Welcomes New Restorative Navigator

Levi Renderer

CRJ has was awarded a contract through Vermont Economic Services to provide support and restorative interventions for individuals and families living temporarily in motels due to the COVID pandemic. Levi Renderer has been hired to coordinate the program to help individuals and motel owners navigate through these challenging times.

Welcome Levi to the CRJ team!

(March 28, 2021)

New Threads Co-Managers

Alice Wiegers

Taylor Cutler

CRJ is pleased to announce the hiring of two teens to co-manager Threads. Threads is CRJ’s teen boutique that offers free clothing to any teen in the Bennington area. Alice Wiegers and Taylor Cutler co-manage Threads; they manage inventory, design the layout of the shop, promote/advertise Threads and provide exceptional customer service. All teens are welcome to come by Threads Mondays – Thursdays 2:30 – 4:30. Our inventory is always changing. Teens can come by to pick up clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and more.  (posted March 2021)





CRJ staff wishes you all a happy holiday season!!!




Have a safe and happy Halloween!! 


Save the date!



CRJ Has NEW Afterschool Program- The Lounge





CRJ Welcomes New Staff!

CRJ is pleased to announce the addition of two wonderful team members:


 Sonya Keough                                                            Chelsea Shepard

Sonya joins CRJ as our new Administrative Assistant and Chelsea is our new Youth Programs Case Manager. We are very lucky to have them on the CRJ team!  Both bring a wealth of experience and passion for our work. 

                                                                                                               August 2019 



CRJ Teams up with the Vets Home

See Banner article below:,579231





CRJ’s Executive Director, Leitha Cipriano, was elected chair of the Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs at the association’s annual meeting in June.

Cipriano has served as the executive director of Center for Restorative Justice since 2005. The Center provides Diversion and Pretrial Services, as well as other community-based restorative justice services, for all of Bennington County.

“We are fortunate to have Leitha in our county,” said Erica Marthage, Bennington County State’s Attorney. “I refer many cases to the Center for Restorative Justice confident that the offender will be held accountable and the victims’ needs will be met.”

“I am honored that my colleagues chose me to lead our association,” said Cipriano. “We are a collaborative group and learn a lot from one another. We are always looking for how to improve our services.”

The Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs (VACDP) is comprised of the 14 county-based Diversion programs, a restorative justice alternative to the court system. Through Diversion, youth and adults take responsibility for their unlawful actions, working with community volunteers to repair the harm they caused.

The association advocates for its member programs, promoting consistent high-quality restorative justice services in all counties. During the past year, prosecutors referred approximately 25% of misdemeanors charges to Diversion, and programs worked with over 3,000 individuals statewide.


Expungement Petition Assistance

Under certain circumstances, a person may be eligible to have their criminal conviction or charge expunged. This opportunity is only available for qualifying crimes. Some crimes such as a DUI, violent offenses, and most felonies are not eligible.

CRJ has staff trained to help people navigate the process of filing a petition with the court to have their record expunged. Our service is offered at no cost; there is, however, a $90 court filing fee (that may be eligible for a fee waiver based on income)

If you would like help filing a petition or would like more information on expungement,  call CRJ today!


CRJ Receives Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth Grant

Center for Restorative Justice (CRJ) is excited to announce it has received an Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth grant from the Vermont Community Foundation!

CRJ will use the funding to offer a week-long summer Youth Empowerment Program. The program will serve 10 at-risk youth with priority referrals coming from DCF & CRJ.

The goal of the program is to provide at-risk youth in our community a week-long experience that will hopefully empower, encourage and inspire them onto positive life paths.

We are so excited to offer this program and are very grateful to have the support from the special funders supporting the Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth grant program.

Details about enrolling in the program and more information will be available this spring.


Center for Restorative Justice Receives Grant to Support Juvenile Justice Efforts

Read article on Bennington Banner link below:,540376