"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella
I was born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ, graduating from Atlantic City High School. I served in the US Naval Reserve and retired from the United States Air Force on January 1, 1994. I returned to New Mexico in December 1994 for nine (9) years, first, as a Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer (JPPO) for Santa Fe County then Chief, JPPO, District 14, encompassing Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad, NM. These duties began my introduction and application of the restorative justice (RJ) theory and process. We applied RJ practiced to develop and serve client-centered, family focused, strength-based planning.
In December 2003, I relocated to Connecticut and employed in educational settings with person with developmental disabilities then as a residential treatment counselor in a co occurring diagnosed center. In November 2006, I moved to Bennington, VT working for Bennington School, Inc. as residential line staff, relationship-based model then United Counseling Services, performing case management services as part of the developmental disabled clienteles’ Sharing Living Program. Unfortunately, I relocated to NJ for a year and a half, regarding family manners, but employed as a paraprofessional in the Somers Point Elementary/Middle School then as the Lead Life Coach for a federally funded Prisoner Re-entry Initiative assisting released person transition back into their community. In November 2009, I returned to VT to begin my work with the Center for Restorative Justice, as case manager, Court Diversion and now Reparative Program Coordinator which includes our Reparative Probation, Direct Reparative and the newly implemented pilot Suspended Fine Program besides being a member VACDP TAC Team.
I completed numerous continuing educational courses, seminars and workshops, regarding restorative justice principles, guidelines and practices. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Mary’ University, San Antonio, TX and a Master’s of Public Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA. I have two grown sons and six grandchildren.