staff and interns
Mel Motel, Executive Director
Mel joined the Brattleboro Community Justice Center as Director in August 2017 after fifteen years of work in Restorative Justice, social justice, and education. Mel is not new to the BCJC, however: she moved to Vermont in 2006 to help build the BCJC’s Restorative Reentry Program as an Americorps VISTA and then as the BCJC’s Reentry Program Coordinator. In 2013, Mel founded the Just Schools Project, where she worked with more than a thousand adults and youth in K-12 schools to implement restorative practices programs. She has also taught the Community and Restorative Justice course in the Community College of Vermont’s Criminal Justice Program.
Mel sees her work both at the BCJC and in her life outside of it as building restorative communities: where all people get what they need and where we ourselves have the skills to respond to and transform harm within our own relationships and communities. She also likes to spend time with her partner, friends, and dog; play sports of all kinds; and sing karaoke.
Jackie Trepanier, Program Coordinator
“I believe that when given a conscious choice, most people prefer not to be in pain or to cause pain. However, life is sometimes harsh and confusing .We are all trying to meet our needs and we all make mistakes along the way. Compassion, safety, connection, understanding, reflection, and awareness are all things that allow us as people to grow and change. These are things that I hope to provide through my work at the BCJC.”
In her 20+ years working in the fields of conflict transformation, facilitation, and adult education, Jackie has found the presence of these qualities essential in supporting individuals to take responsibility for their choices. Jackie has served as the Program Coordinator at the BCJC since 2010 and manages the Restorative Justice Panel program, the pre-charge program known as Justice Alternatives, and has served as lead mediator. She is tremendously grateful for all she has learned and continues to learn by way of being and working with people. When not at work she loves to dance, garden, watch the clouds, and hang out with friends and family.
Jim Cecere, Reentry Program Coordinator
Jim has held a range of positions and careers throughout his professional life from owning a chain of ski shops to retaining an auto leasing company as well as a business acquisition firm. However, Jim’s proudest accomplishments involve his work with Vermont Vocational Rehabilitation and with the Brattleboro Community Justice Center. He spent nine years with Vermont Vocational Rehabilitation helping people break down barriers to employment and the last five here, at the BCJC as the Restorative Reentry Coordinator. “After getting my Masters in Marketing/Finance and starting my own business, I am ashamed to say that I did not give Restorative Justice a moment of my time,” Jim said. “Meeting Larry Hames (the former director of the BCJC) opened my eyes to a world that I knew nothing about. I now see the importance of Restorative Justice in the community and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to spread reparative ideals through my work at the BCJC.”
Becca Jacobson, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Intern
Ethan Hazzard-Watkins is a Masters of Social Work student at the University of Vermont who is interning with BCJC during the 2018-19 academic year. While at BCJC he will be supporting the Reparative Justice panel program, assisting with volunteer training, and working on a number of other projects.
Ethan brings passion and enthusiasm for restorative principles to his work with BCJC, as well as an eagerness to learn about and participate in alternatives to the criminal justice system. Ethan is a member of Lost River Racial Justice, a Brattleboro-based community group working to promote racial equity and to educate and engage white people in racial justice work. He hopes to connect this experience with his work at BCJC.
Ethan has lived in Brattleboro since 2002. He worked as a musician for many years before starting his studies towards an MSW in 2017. In his spare time he loves to garden, plays soccer, and tries to spend time in the wilderness whenever he has the chance.