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.
Meg Mott, Temporary Reentry Coordinator
Meg Mott has been interested in alternative forms of justice ever since she worked as a Court Advocate for a local battered women's shelter. She has taught about restorative justice in her law classes at Marlboro College since 1999 and joined the Board of BCJC in 2016. She is grateful for this opportunity to work with COSAs and to learn from our core members and volunteers.
Michelle Bos-Lun, Reentry Program Coordinator starting Nov. 12, 2019!
Michelle Bos-Lun has years of experience in both education and social service. An active volunteer with NAMI Vermont, she facilitates a family support group, has taught classes about mental health and the family, and chaired the Vermont state NAMI conference committee. She worked for five years at Youth Services in Brattleboro as both a case manager and a later a program director of a career development mentoring program. She teaches youth at the Governor's Institute for Current Issues and Youth Activism each summer, offering courses about Immigration and Refugee issues and personal storytelling. Michelle has worked on programs with Iraqi youth the past three summers in Brattleboro, Portland, Chicago and Washington DC. She is currently on the board of HCRS. She is excited to fill the role of reentry coordinator with BCJC, helping facilitate circles of support and accountability.
Becca Jacobson, Restorative Schools Trainer
In her role at the BCJC, Becca works with local schools and the community to bring restorative justice practices into their communities. Becca co-facilitates circle processes for a variety of school age students and addresses various topics/ experiences in these circles. She is currently pursuing her second Master’s Degree at The School for International Training and is excited to be deepening her knowledge of restorative justice and social justice education. Her first Master’s Degree is in International Education having worked for The Institute for Shipboard Education and Semester at Sea.
Grace Koch, SerVermont VISTA
Grace is a freshly graduated Loyola University Chicago alumnus who has just received her BA in Theater with a minor in Political Science. Her work throughout college was dedicated to finding ways of using creative expression as a tool for political organizing through a multitude of different avenues including building power with community organizing group One Northside's Mental Health Justice team, studying the work of Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed, and directing a collaboratively devised comedy show on the climate crisis.
She is excited for her move from Chicago to Brattleboro and to start work with the Brattleboro Community Justice Center where she hopes to put her undergraduate education to use serving this organization and the greater Brattleboro community. She's looking forward to creating warm and welcoming spaces for volunteers to learn and grow in their restorative justice work, getting to work with the staff at BCJC, and spending some quality time wandering around the woods of Vermont.
In Memoriam: Jim Cecere
Our Reentry Coordinator, Jim Cecere, passed away on September 18, 2019. Jim was a huge part of the BCJC community for over 5 years. In addition to the formerly incarcerated community members who he worked with at the BCJC, Jim touched the lives of countless other through his work at Voc Rehab and in his personal life. He is missed by many BCJC clients, volunteers, and staff. We will always think of him.