The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer in the state. Our office represents the state in all matters in which the state is a party or has an interest. We are dedicated to the protection of the health and safety of all Vermonters.
This is a public health issue and it’s about harm reduction. The data shows that ppl using this medicine w/o a prescription are using it as treatment for a disease. That shouldn’t be criminal. I support H 162. #vtpoli @selene_colburn
The Vermont Senate is discussing appropriating $250,000 to study building a new prison for the incarcerated women in Vermont. I have urged the Senate Institutions Committee to broaden the scope of the study to include what services are required to meet the needs of the incarcerated women in Vermont and alternatives to incarceration. If we focus on solely on building a new facility, we can be sure that we will not only fill that facility, but miss an opportunity to achieve truly better outcomes for these Vermonters and address these issues holistically and at their roots. Below is a letter that I, along with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, ACLU of Vermont and others sent to the committee. ⤵️⤵️⤵️Yesterday, we presented a joint letter from the VT Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Attorney General T.J. Donovan, Vermont Works for Women, the ACLU-Vermont and Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform to the Senate Institutions Committee asking for a better future for incarcerated women in Vermont. Read on for the full text of the letter, below.
April 9th, 2019
Senator Benning, Chair Senator Rogers, Vice Chair Senator Mazza Senator Lyons Senator Hooker
Dear Committee Members,
Thank you for your consideration and attention to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility which houses women in Vermont who are incarcerated. It has been well established that the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility lacks the physical space and built environment conducive to the rehabilitation and services that Vermont’s female prison population needs and deserves.
The capital bill under your consideration proposes to allocate $250,000 to Buildings and General Services for a feasibility study to “evaluate options for the site location of a new correctional facility to replace Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility”. While we appreciate the shared concern regarding the current facility and its significant limitations, we disagree with the scope and focus of the proposed study. The focus of any evaluation of the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility must be broader than the building and facilities.
We the undersigned are requesting that the language be amended to require the State of Vermont to use the proposed funds to evaluate alternatives to incarceration and the services required to meet the needs of Vermont’s female prison population. In addition, this evaluation should include but not be limited to participation by the Department of Corrections. This evaluation must also include key stakeholders including organizations which currently provide services at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.
Most of the women at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility are incarcerated as a result of criminal responses to trauma. If the State of Vermont wishes to decrease its overall prison population and create a system where incarceration and rehabilitation coexist, we must work collaboratively and creatively to achieve that vision.
Karen Tronsgard-Scott, Executive Director Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Jen Oldham, Executive Director Vermont Works for Women
Tom Dalton, Executive Director Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform
James Duff Lyle, Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont
Vermont’s lobbyist registration and disclosure law applies to certain communications with and activities directed at the Attorney General. Prior to any interactions with the Office of the Vermont Attorney General, you are advised to review Title 2, Sections 261-268 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, as well as the Vermont Secretary of State’s most recent guide to compliance, available at https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/lobbying.aspx.