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  • changeVisit your local community justice center, and consider joining a restorative panel or a COSA (circle of support and accountability) to support someone coming out of prison.
  • Invite your legislator for coffee on a Monday or weekend and talk with him/her about the criminal justice system, your concerns, and your vision for change. Remember that they DO want to hear from you.
  • Do you have opportunities to hire staff or rent an apartment or room?  Examine how you screen applicants and what weight you give to past behavior, specifically a criminal conviction.  Are you willing to look past a former crime and give someone another chance?
  • Notice the language used in news reports and in the community. Is someone in prison referred to as an “embezzler,” “murderer” or “sex offender” or as a person convicted of a certain crime?  Is a formerly incarcerated person called an “ex-con” or again, labeled by his/her crime?
  • Observe your own impulses when someone harms you. Do you want to hurt him/her back?  Notice your emotions: anger? sadness?  Notice when you feel the human impulse toward retribution and when you are able to move past that toward compassion.

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform
PO Box 8753, Burlington, VT 05402
(802) 540-0440

Contact us:
tom@vcjr.org

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform 
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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