With National Volunteering Month right around the corner, the Essex Community Justice Center would like to thank the more than 25 local volunteers that generously give their time at our center each month. Since 2003, the Essex CJC has been providing restorative justice services to the towns of Essex, Underhill, Jericho and Westford. Over the last three years, we expanded to also serve Colchester and Milton. As the name implies, a critical component of “community justice” is engaging local citizens in efforts to address crime and conflict. With our wide service area, the Essex CJC is fortunate to have committed volunteers from each town we serve who want to give back to their community by giving people a second chance.

Every week, our volunteers take part in efforts to better understand their neighbors, facilitate difficult conversations and offer support. Essex CJC volunteers are dedicated to strengthening their communities and understand the importance of rebuilding relationships after crime or conflict has occurred. Whether it is volunteering at weekly restorative justice panels, participating in weekly circles of support and accountability for community members returning from prison, serving on our community advisory board or assisting with educational events, volunteers are what make our work possible. We truly can’t thank each of them enough, and we know that the community members we serve feel the same. Time and time again, we hear from folks on both sides of the justice system, sharing how touched they are to have neighbors that volunteer their time in order to support them.

The Essex CJC truly appreciates the support of the communities we serve and are always on the lookout for ways to make new connections. If you would like to learn more about the Essex CJC and meet some of our fantastic volunteers, we welcome you to join us for our upcoming “Meet the CJC” event on Tuesday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m. You can contact Jill at 662-0001 to sign up. If you can’t make it, but want to learn more, just let us know. Our doors are open to all, and we are happy to offer you a cup of coffee or tea!

The entire Essex CJC staff