New Program at Youth Services Offers Community Conflict Support for All Ages

Have a conflict with a neighbor? Looking for restorative practices training for your group or business? Youth Services is pleased to announce a new restorative practices program, Circle Up, to provide community conflict support through circle facilitation and training in restorative practices, starting next month.

In 2021, the Brattleboro Community Justice Center merged with Youth Services’ Restorative Justice programs. “Over the years we frequently received requests for these kinds of services, but haven’t had enough staff to respond to most of them,” explained Mel Motel, formerly the  Brattleboro Community Justice Center Executive Director and now co-director of Youth Services’ Restorative Justice programs.

“We’re excited to finally be able to offer this new program, with a seasoned staff member taking on the role, at a time when community members are still navigating the stresses and tensions heightened by the pandemic with fewer resources,” Motel explained.

Rachael Trill is moving into the role of Circle Up Program Coordinator, having spent the last several years as Youth Services’ Pretrial Services and Tamarack Coordinator in which she assisted justice-system involved adults to address underlying mental health and/or substance use concerns related to their charge.

According to Trill, circles are an established, restorative practice where parties experiencing conflict are invited to come together with the help of a trained facilitator to listen to all affected parties, share about their own experience and collaborate on steps that can be taken to repair and prevent harm.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to launch this very valuable service in Windham County,” said Trill. “I see a lot of conflict, but insufficient support to help people work together towards a resolution. This can lead people to feeling stuck, or even worse off than when a problem started,” she stated.

“Learning and practicing restorative approaches to conflict can even help people solve conflicts on their own, whether it’s having a productive conversation with a neighbor you’re having trouble with, improving a difficult relationship with a coworker, or helping your kids work out conflicts at home,” explained Trill.

According to Trill, the new conflict facilitation services she will deliver will offer an opportunity for people in conflict to talk together with the assistance of an impartial third party with the goal of crafting an agreement that will help solve their conflict.

Youth Services will be offering group training in restorative practices and related topics for agencies and groups seeking to expand conflict resolution approaches throughout their business or agency. Monthly community trainings, open to any community member, will be offered at no cost from September through December of 2023. Introduction to Skillful Communication and Restorative Practices 101 are some of the trainings slated for the fall, dates to be determined.

If you have an individual or group conflict you would like help addressing in a restorative manner or wish to have your group trained, please contact Rachael Trill at or call (802) 416-1374.


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