Let us introduce ourselves, and explain why we began this blog:
I have been involved with the criminal legal system for roughly 10 years, when a close loved one became incarcerated. I volunteered with Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform at its inception, and served on its board of directors. During that time my focus was on legislation and education. I hoped that our state government could see that the current system of dealing with harm, punitive incarceration, was not effective. Not only does it fail to make our communities safer, it also takes a large chunk of tax dollars for no return on our investment.
Vermont has instituted an initiative called Justice Reinvestment. The goal is to move money away from imprisoning people and move it into education, mental health, and communities — all of which would further the goal of lessening crime. Sadly, small steps are being taken by the leglislature rather than the big, bold reform which is so sorely needed. (more…)