A JAM Community-Produced Podcast

Dismas of Vermont provides therapeutic community to men and women leaving incarceration and reconciling with the community. One of the main features of the Dismas model is our community dinners in which volunteers prepare and join us for dinner and story sharing.

This podcast is made possible by the guidance and technical support of CATV/ JAM.

View Episode Descriptions


Episode 17:  Former Hartford Dismas House Resident, Dale Jr., is given voice with Samantha and Chico of Junction Arts & Media – the Upper Valley non-profit that can be credited with giving so many a voice and producing podcasts such as “Going the Dismas”!

Episode 16:  Hartford Dismas House Resident, David, joins host, Jeff Backus, and his step-mother, Kate, for a conversation about the shortcoming of the American mental health care system, how he found his way from Hawaii to jail in Vermont, and the benefit of the Dismas community.

Episode 15:  Burlington House Director, Kim Parsons, shares her experience with our community over the past 30 years along with Volunteer for Peace from Belgium, Marie, and house resident Rich.

Episode 14:  After presenting to Hartford High School students weeks prior, Hartford Dismas House resident, Shawn, aims to recreate the experience with Hartford High School teacher, Doug, and his student, Miranda, in a two way street of valuable life lessons.

Episode 13:  Women’s Dismas House Resident, Sheena, joins Committed Member, Dee, for a conversation about incarcerated women, job hunting with a record, and the incredible Rutland community!

Episode 12:  Hartford Dismas House Director, Tom, shares the story of his own path to Dismas while resident, Darby, talks about what it was like moving the homeless population into motels during the Covid-19 pandemic, the value of a 12 step program, and what it was like growing up “on the other side of the tracks”.

Episode 11:  Director of Women’s Services for the Vermont Department of Corrections, Kathy, joins Hartford Dismas House Council Member, Cherry, for a conversation about supervision in the community, addiction and trauma management, and the female experience in the correctional system.

Episode 10: Volunteer of the year recipient, Kristi, sits down for a conversation with Hartford Dismas House resident, Tim, about his experience and subtleties of the legal system.

Episode 9: Two Dartmouth Students and Hartford Dismas House Council Members, Molly and Marisa, join in on a conversation with former resident, Kevin, and discuss his path to Dismas, personal growth since, and how we can all help to improve the Dismas community!

Episode 8:  Dismas of Vermont Board President, Drew Rockwell, shares his reflections on the evolution of an expanding organization.

Episode 7:  Burlington Dismas House residents, Aaron & Matthew, share the importance of supportive community, attempts at self medication, accessibility of substances on the dark web, and the Federal drug court system.

Episode 6:  Dismas of Vermont Founder, Rita McCaffrey, gets together with Program Manager, Richard Gagne, and Executive Director, Jim Curran, to talk about the history and origins of Dismas and what’s next!

Episode 5:  Three Hartford Dismas House residents recently released from jail, one that very morning,  share their experiences in the transitional process and the support that comes from each other.

Episode 4:  Rutland Dismas House resident, Ray, shares his darkest moment before the dawn with Rutland Dismas House Director, Eric and Dismas of Vermont’s Jeff Backus.

Episode 3:  Hartford Dismas House resident, Lucas, and Assistant Director of the Hartford Restorative Justice Center, Jonathan, join Dismas of Vermont’s Jeff Backus for a conversation about the “big event”, restorative practices, and congregate vs. scattered site housing.

Episode 2:  Hartford Dismas House resident, Edgar, and Council Member, Jenn, join Dismas of Vermont’s Jeff Backus for a conversation about life, COVID, house dynamics, food, and Edgar’s birthday! (Premiered 9/6/22)

Episode 1:  Former Hartford Dismas House resident, Seth, and volunteer, Celia, join Dismas of Vermont’s Jeff Backus for a conversation and mini glimpse into what to expect at a community dinner. (Pilot 8/20/22)

Edited by David Eric for JAM