Department of Corrections

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After multiple reports of Vermont inmates who died of cancer after serving time in the state’s prison system, VPR’s Taylor Dobbs spoke with Vermont Edition about those cases and the limited transparency of health care provided to Vermont's inmate population.

Vermont inmate Roger Brown died in prison in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania where he and more than 200 other Vermont inmates are housed because of a lack of in-state prison space.
Marc Levy / Associated Press file

On October 15, Vermont inmate Roger Brown died of metastatic cancer at the prison infirmary in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He wrote in his diary that prison medical staff provided him with ibuprofen, Tylenol and gel shoe inserts to manage his pain and never told him about the cancer that was causing it.

Janice Hutt / Courtesy

Bobby Hutt died of cancer in October 2014, after suffering for over a year. His sisters say the Vermont Department of Corrections "killed him" by waiting until the cancer got so bad that Bobby's leg broke beneath him.

A 21-year-old Vermont inmate is facing assault charges after he allegedly kicked a correctional officer who was intervening during a suicide attempt.

Vermont's defender general says Pennsylvania prison officials at the Camp Hill prison are making it harder than ever for investigators and attorneys to meet and communicate with Vermont inmates housed out of state.
Marc Levy / Associated Press

Since being transferred to a state-run Pennsylvania prison over the summer, Vermont inmates are having more difficulty than ever communicating with attorneys at the Vermont defender general’s office, according to Vermont Defender General Matthew Valerio.

Vermont's defender general says Pennsylvania prison officials at the Camp Hill prison are making it harder than ever for investigators and attorneys to meet and communicate with Vermont inmates housed out of state.
Marc Levy / Associated Press

Vermont’s Department of Corrections announced Monday that a 68-year-old Vermont inmate died over the weekend in the Camp Hill prison in Pennsylvania.

The Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. In a report to the federal government, Vermont disclosed that 17 inmates were sexually victimized in state-run prisons last year.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Seventeen inmates were “sexually victimized” in Vermont prisons last year, according to a recently filed disclosure by the Vermont Department of Corrections. 

Vermont inmate Roger Brown died in prison in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania where he and more than 200 other Vermont inmates are housed because of a lack of in-state prison space.
Marc Levy / Associated Press file

Vermont’s Department of Corrections is in close communication with officials in Pennsylvania about concerns and complaints from Vermont inmates staying in Pennsylvania’s Camp Hill prison, according to Deputy Corrections Commissioner Mike Touchette.

Gov. Phil Scott made several recommendations about the state's corrections system in his budget address on Tuesday.

Vermont Department of Corrections officials say they are investigating a suicide attempt by an inmate at Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton.

The Department of Corrections will provide more mental health care to some of its inmates, under an agreement reached this week with a former prisoner.

The federal Department of Justice's decision to stop using privately-run prisons is reverberating throughout Vermont.

An investigation has concluded that allegations of mistreatment of Vermont inmates at a Michigan prison were exaggerated.

Advocates claimed that a number of inmates were strip-searched and denied food and water during a search for contraband.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Windham County Sheriff says he will not consider the former Liberty Mill in Bellows Falls as the site of a proposed 150-bed detention center.

Courtesy of Josh O'Gorman / Vermont Press Bureau

Gov. Peter Shumlin on Tuesday announced a program to treat opiate addiction in newly released inmates.

Al Goldis / AP

After almost three decades of working in corrections, Lisa Menard was named the department's commissioner on October 1. She takes charge just months after Vermont's out-of-state prisoners moved to a new facility in Michigan. And at a time when our inmate population has dropped to its lowest total since the early 2000s.

The Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. In a report to the federal government, Vermont disclosed that 17 inmates were sexually victimized in state-run prisons last year.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

On a cloudless day in late September, 10 lawmakers drove to Springfield for a tour of the Southern State Correctional Facility. The experience left an impression, and legislators have begun pressing administration officials for reforms to the corrections system.

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Five years ago, legislators passed a law aimed at getting nonviolent offenders out of prison, but new data suggest the effort has had some unintended consequences. Offenders who are released before they’re ready often just end up returning to jail a short time later.

Back in 2010, one of the central planks in Gov. Peter Shumlin’s first gubernatorial campaign was a plan to reduce the number of nonviolent offenders in Vermont prisons.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 19.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Democratic presidential contenders are not the only debaters squaring off this week.

The other debate takes place Oct. 14 in South Burlington, inside the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

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The state of Vermont spends $20 million a year to provide medical services to inmates, and the Department of Corrections is about to try a new way to oversee the physical and mental health care its prisoners receive.

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