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Communities for Restorative JusticeRespect, Responsibility, and a Path Forward
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C4RJ's Board and Executive Director Erin Freeeborn display images that represent their vision for the organization.

Board and Staff

An active board of directors and advisors guide C4RJ. The strength of the group lies in its breadth of experience combined with a shared, unwavering passion for restorative justice. The group meets throughout the year to focus on policy, fiscal issues, growth, and development.

Board

Thomas Black, Member

Sarah Briones, Member

Sarah is originally from Concord, MA. After graduating from Boston College and Suffolk University Law School with honors, she opened her own firm and has been practicing law for the past 22 years. The Briones Law Group specializes in probate and family matters, criminal defense and personal injury litigation. Sarah's criminal defense experience has reinforced her commitment to restorative justice and its importance in our criminal justice system. In addition to her volunteer work with C4RJ, Sarah currently volunteers in the Lawyer of the Day program in the Mass Probate Courts.

Diana Clymer, Member and Resources Chair

Di was coordinator of Concord Prison Outreach for 12 years and one of the people who advocated for bringing a restorative justice initiative to Concord. She taught elementary school, was an administrator of a nonprofit, and had an event planning business. Her present volunteer commitments include being a trustee of the Corporation for the Concord Free Public Library and a member of the Concord Cultural Council. Di was featured in a cover story of C4RJ's Talking Piece Spring 2012 newslette

John Cratsley, Member

John Cratsley retired in September 2011 after 34 years as a judge in the District and Superior Courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He currently teaches at Boston College and Harvard Law Schools and is a mediator/arbitrator with JAMS, an international dispute resolution organization. He and his wife Holly live in Concord, and their two sons are graduates of Concord-Carlisle High School.

Carol Fernandez, Member

Carol is a retired criminal defense attorney, graduating from the University of Arizona College of Law. She specialized in the juvenile courts, representing adolescents in both delinquency and family law matters. It was there that she saw how court involvement dramatically affected a child’s life, and strongly believes that restorative justice provides a more meaningful way to deal with first time offenders by not only keeping them out of the courts but teaching them about the ways their actions have affected their victims. Carol has three grown children and resides in Newton with her husband Roberto.

Barry C. Fitzgerald, Member

Barry C. Fitzgerald (M.Ed., J.D.) is an experienced educator and attorney from Lexington, MA. His firm, the Law Office of Barry C. Fitzgerald, represents individuals in all stages of criminal and personal injury litigation. Barry has taught at Suffolk University for over twenty years, and he is currently a Senior Lecturer at Suffolk, teaching education law and advanced legal writing courses.

Barry has also served Suffolk University as President and Vice- President of the Board of Directors of the General Alumni Association, and he has served on many other university committees. He was selected to teach in the Suffolk University Archer Fellows Program in the area of education law, and he was awarded the inaugural Lynne Dahlborg Award for excellence in teaching for his work.

Margot Fleischman, President

Margot is a Selectman from the town of Bedford, MA. Prior to becoming a Selectman in 2012, Margot served for five years on the Bedford Planning Board, and held a variety of other committee appointments. With interests in public health, transportation, housing, energy efficiency, and economic development, Margot brings a focus on promoting a healthy community to her work in local government. Margot and her husband are the parents of two school-aged children.

Pete Funkhouser, Member

Pete grew up in Concord, MA. He left to attend Princeton and the Harvard Business School, and then to travel the world for his career in the packaging business. His final position before retiring was Senior Vice President, International Operations at Sealed Air Corporation (the maker of bubble wrap). Pete retired to his hometown because he knew there would be plenty of non-profit work there to keep him busy.

Pete has been active on Concord’s Finance Committee, the Louisa May Alcott House board, the League of Women Voters, and Jehrico Road. He also spearheaded the construction of the Beede Community Swim and Fitness Center, which was donated to the Town at no cost. Pete is married to Kate Stout and has three grown daughters.

Mark Robinson, Member

Mark Robinson is Co-Founder and Manager of Little Something Foods, LLC an ice cream novelty manufacturer and marketer to grocery stores nationwide of Mad Minis--bite-sized, ice cream cookie sandwiches made with no artificial ingredients which are only 60 calories each. Mark has spent his career in various leadership roles in small to middle market manufacturing companies. Outside of work, Mark has spent considerable time serving on not- for-profit boards including the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE)
and the Tenacre Country Day School. Mark is married to Clare Robinson and they have two grown sons. Mark and Clare reside in Wellesley.

Chief Frederick Ryan, Member

Chief Frederick Ryan has served as Chief of Police since 1999 and he holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and he completed the Executive Education program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Chief Ryan was recently invited by President Trump to the White House as the President declared the opiate epidemic public health emergency. Chief Ryan was also invited by the Unites States Senate to testify before the Committee on Homeland Security regarding the opiate epidemic.  Prior to that, he and his team were invited to participate in the PERF, COPS Office, & ONDCP roundtable in Washington DC on the opiate epidemic. Arlington’s so called “Opiate Outreach Initiative-A Plan of Action”, is recognized as a model throughout the nation. He is an active member of the F.B.I. National Academy Associates, Vice-President of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association, Incorporator with Cambridge Savings Bank, and serves on the board of the Greater Boston Police Council.  

Jim Saltonstall, Treasurer

Catherine Sinnott, Clerk

Cathy is the attorney-in-charge of the children and family law division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, headquartered in Lowell. Her office represents family members in cases in which the state has taken custody of children and cases involving the welfare of children and families.

Sharon Weisner, Member

David Wilson, Vice President

Dave Wilson is a founding partner of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP, a boutique labor & employment and litigation law firm located in downtown Boston. Dave has spent nearly three decades defending and advising employers on employment matters including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, workplace violence, privacy, discrimination, noncompetition agreements, defamation, and wage and hour disputes.In 2015, Dave was recognized by his peers as Lawyer of the Year 2015 by Best Lawyers in America for his work in Litigation – Labor and Employment. He is a soccer enthusiast, past president of Acton–Boxborough Youth Soccer, and current president of the Friends of the Lower Fields. Dave and his family currently reside in Littleton.

Advisors

Chief Len Wetherbee, Program Advisor

Len retired in January 2010 from the Concord Police Department after 33 years of service, the last 17 as chief of police. At that time, he also retired from the board of C4RJ but continues to serve as an advisor. He has since become police chief in Moltonborough, NH. It was during Len's time as the department's prosecutor at the Concord District Court that he recognized that the current system was not addressing victim needs or the obligations that were created when an offense was committed. In 1997, Len met with two community members, Jean Bell and Joan Turner, to discuss the possible role of restorative justice in Concord. As a result of that meeting, the seeds were sown of the Concord Restorative Circle (later called "Communities for Restorative Justice"). Len was a founding member of the Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program, was involved in the start of many community policing initiatives in Concord, and served at various levels on numerous boards and programs in Concord and the Metrowest region.

Barbara Howland, Program Advisor

Barbara is our recent past president and remains very involved as a community liaison and grant writer. She has been with the program almost since its inception and has served in many capacities. She has been instrumental in many youth-serving and community health endeavors in Concord-Carlisle and beyond. She recently became a grandmother!

Jennifer Larson Sawin, Program Advisor

Jennifer, C4RJ's executive director from 2008 to July 2014, has a passion for both the principle and practice of restorative methods for dealing with wrongdoing and crime. She holds an MA in Conflict Transformation with an emphasis in restorative justice. Her graduate work was under the tutelage of Howard Zehr, widely considered to be grandfather of the field. Zehr authored the foundational text Changing Lenses, in which he compares “restorative justice” to “retributive justice” and proposes that crime is a violation of people, as well as a violation of law.

Jennifer’s interest in harm and conflict traces to her childhood in Southern Africa in the twilight years of apartheid. In that context, she was introduced to the concept of ubuntu, a Bantu word roughly translated as “a person is a person through other people.” Imbued with this cultural instinct, Jennifer has consulted with restorative justice agencies in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and South Africa.

Staff

Erin Freeborn, Executive Director

efreeborn@c4rj.org
Erin Freeborn is the Executive Director of Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ). Erin has a decade of study and experience in both the practice of restorative justice and nonprofit leadership. As a social entrepreneur she encourages programs to think about new ways to create positive change in society. She is an attorney who helped found the Massachusetts Restorative Justice Collaborative and coauthored the 2010 exploratory study of Project Restore, a Study of Restorative Justice and Sexual Violence, commissioned by New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice. Erin was deeply involved in recently enacted legislation making restorative justice available to all stakeholders in the Massachusetts criminal justice system. Prior to leading C4RJ, Erin served as executive director of Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Diversion (JCRJD) in Lowell, now known as Our Restorative Justice (OurRJ). Erin received her J.D. from Northeastern University, with a focus in restorative justice, and she holds a master’s of divinity degree and certificate of conflict transformation from Boston University.

Ashley Bentley, Program Director

abentley@c4rj.org
Ashley became passionate about restorative justice during law school and began volunteering for C4RJ in 2015 as a facilitator on the Red Team. Prior to joining C4RJ as our program director, Ashley practiced law in the non-profit and private sectors. She received her law degree from Boston University and her undergraduate degree from Brown University.

Emily Wheeler, Development and Office Specialist

ewheeler@c4rj.org
Emily, our development and office specialist, is no stranger to the nonprofit world — or to C4RJ. She was previously a member of our Green Team of casework volunteers. She has also served as volunteer coordinator and administrator at Gaining Ground, a Concord farm that grows food for hunger relief, and as administrator of the religious education program at First Parish in Concord.

Sarah Scoville, Volunteer Communications Coordinator

sscoville@c4rj.org
Sarah, our Volunteer Communications Coordinator, is an artist and community organizer who lives with her family in Bedford. Sarah is a member of the Bedford School Committee, and has also organized volunteers to provide dinner for homeless families, to help in the elementary schools, and to run pre-school events.