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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Announces Opening of Groundbreaking Recovery Program Based in Lamoille County

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

Today U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan announced the opening of a groundbreaking recovery program designed to serve women with complex trauma histories, such as domestic violence, physical violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking, many of whom have also suffered from substance use disorder.  The program involves the opening of a recovery house that will provide a continuum of long-term care and wraparound support services, from sober living and transitional housing, to mental health counseling and dedicated resources for educational and vocational training. A recovery program of this breadth is the first of its kind in Vermont.  The recovery house will be managed under the oversight of the Board of Directors of Jenna’s Promise, a nonprofit organization established by Greg and Dawn Tatro in the wake of the tragic passing of their daughter, Jenna, from a fatal overdose.

In comments delivered today to mark the opening of this innovative program, U.S. Attorney Nolan described the critical alliance between law enforcement and prosecutors and recovery service providers that made this program possible and makes Vermont communities safer: “We share the same goal:  to reduce, and hopefully to end, violence against women and drug addiction in Vermont.  Recovery is the best form of crime prevention.”  She noted that the new recovery house “will give survivors the comprehensive long-term set of tools they need—drug treatment, housing, mental health counseling, educational and vocational support— so they can walk through a door to a life free of crime and exploitation, one filled with new opportunities and blessings.”

The concept for this program originated in the work of the Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force—a partnership among federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as various nonprofit agencies working to combat domestic and sexual violence, and human trafficking.  The Task Force identified a persistent gap in services for women recovering from addiction, violence, and trauma.  U.S. Attorney Nolan noted that this program represents a unique, comprehensive recovery model for these survivors.    She further noted the unique partnerships that allowed this recovery program to come to fruition just months after the need was identified: “We achieved this milestone through a unique kind of partnership among law enforcement and prosecutors, recovery service providers; the Congressional Delegation; state legislators; the Governor; a coalition of generous donors; and a coalition of nonprofit organizations, including Jenna’s Promise, the North Central Vermont Recovery Center, and the Lamoille County Restorative Justice Center.”  “We recognize that violence against women and the drug addiction crisis—like all challenging problems—require a holistic multidisciplinary approach,” said U.S. Attorney Nolan.
  
Noting his unwavering support for the Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force, U.S. Attorney Nolan extended special thanks to Senator Patrick Leahy.   

Senator Leahy noted the critically important impact Jenna’s Promise will have on its residents: “I want to thank the Tatros for their personal commitment to helping those who struggle every day with substance use disorder.  Dawn and Greg, as well as their son Gregory, have shown us all how to find hope in the wake of personal tragedy.  Jenna’s Promise will literally save lives, and I am proud not only to support this work but to hold it up as a national model.  This demonstrates why, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have led efforts to increase funding for opioid treatment, prevention, and recovery programs, and to support survivors of human trafficking.”  

Governor Phil Scott added, “Thank you to U.S. Attorney Nolan, Senator Leahy, the Vermont Human Trafficking Taskforce, and everyone who helped to make this happen. I’m especially grateful to the Tatro Family, who I’ve known and respected for many years. They took a parent’s unimaginable devastation and turned it into a mission to help others and save lives, which is the ultimate act of public service and commitment to community.”

In addition to the partnering individuals and organizations noted above, U.S. Attorney Nolan also thanked Attorney General T.J. Donovan, who co-chairs the Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force, and Assistant Attorney General Cindy Maguire who participates on the Task Force; Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux for his financial support and leadership on this project; U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Advocate Aimee Stearns and Witness Specialist Sarah Alexander for their assistance in making this project a reality, and their tireless work on the renovation of the house; the Vermont State Police for its critical contributions to the Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force and this project; and Vermont Representative Dan Noyes for his advocacy in directing grant monies to the project.    

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years          
 

Updated November 24, 2020

Topic
Community Outreach