Timothy Burgess on the state of criminal justice reform in Vermont

May 7, 2024

Timothy Burgess (Leading with Conviction™ 2023) writes:

“Growing up, my parents used a phrase which aptly describes Vermont’s position on second chances, ‘You know all the music, and none of the words.’ Or to be more precise, not in my backyard. Currently, there are 1,395 people held in correctional facilities, meaning that, as of today, there are more than 2,000 families and loved ones impacted by the failed policies of Governor Scott and the Democratic-‘led’ Legislature.

Vermont spends $190,079,034 to run the failed prison system.

“The 2024 legislative session has provided no relief to the most directly impacted populations and has done nothing to provide a second chance for those who have harmed our communities, opting instead to ship people out of state to serve extreme or life sentences. At some point, our brave little state needs to focus on the fact that most of the incarcerated population will come back into our towns and cities. Our state continues to provide inadequate medical services, few educational opportunities, job training and life skills, including less housing and stability, to people who are involved with the criminal justice system.

“People in Vermont who commit crimes are continually judged and unsupported. …

“Vermont spends $190,079,034 to run the failed prison system and continues to lack policies that work to reduce incarceration, rehabilitation and re-entry. While school budgets fail across Vermont, and the schools need upwards of $4 billion, the priority in Montpelier appears to be prisons over education.”

Read the full op-ed at RutlandHerald.com.

Your donation to JLUSA empowers directly impacted people.

Thank you so much for supporting our mission here at JLUSA! Your donation helps to support our network of leaders working to dismantle oppressive systems and uplift people and families impacted by mass incarceration across the country.

All charitable donations made to JLUSA are fully tax deductible, as allowable by the IRS.