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Attorney General Donovan Continues Effort to Reduce Unnecessary Incarceration

April 1, 2020

Releases COVID-19 Guidance to Prosecutors, Police, and DOC

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today published Recommended Guidance of the Attorney General Regarding Incarceration Decisions During the COVID-19 for prosecutors, police, and the Department of Corrections. The guidance was developed to promote the priority of ensuring the safety of all Vermonters, including law enforcement and those who are incarcerated. It outlines best practices for decisions that affect court appearances and possible incarceration during the COVID-19 emergency, to make Vermont’s response as fair and uniform as possible across the state.

“Law enforcement, prosecutors, and Department of Corrections personnel are already doing extensive work to minimize unnecessary incarceration during this crisis,” said Attorney General Donovan. “We are all in this together, and I thank them for their efforts as we continue to balance public safety with public health.”

Today’s guidance identifies recommended best practices for issues such as citations, bail, and probation. It also acknowledges that domestic violence and sexual violence cases remain priorities and the guidance does not apply to these crimes.

Separate guidance regarding enforcement of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order is forthcoming for law enforcement. “Vermonters are law-abiding, respectful, community-minded individuals,” said Attorney General Donovan. “The Office’s current priority is promoting voluntary compliance with the Executive Order by providing education and outreach.”

A copy of today’s guidance can be found here.