It seems like a myth.
What seems so obvious to so many of us, is that how we incarcerate people – and what we do with them – or don’t do – IS NOT WORKING. Those opposed to this vital need for change don’t see anything wrong with the current system. They don’t see it as Draconian. Black’s Law Dictionary defines Draconian Laws as: A code of laws prepared by Draco, the celebrated lawgiver of Athens. These laws were exceedingly severe, and the term is now sometimes applied to any laws of unusual harshness. This applies to the Codes, Policies and Directives which are the laws within the prison system, as well as post incarcerate supervision.
Title 28 of The Vermont Statutes Annotated, beginning with the first line of the first subsection, is clear about what is supposed to happen to every incarcerated person from the very first moment they begin serving their sentence. This is absolutely never what actually happens. The neglect begins at that moment. If one has medical needs, they are pared down immediately to the lowest common denominator of medical care — not “Continuum Of Care” as the law describes. Mental health care is so substandard it is barely visible. Colored pencils and puzzles.
Now that Vermont is planning to close even more facilities, and lobbies for the funds to build a new prison, why not invest in Vermont’s future with that money instead, and promote programs which actually foster the futures of incarcerated people, who will eventually return to the community. Vocational training, life skills, trade schooling, in many cases even teaching some to read. A critical missing part of this system is acknowledging that they are paying their debt to society, that they have paid their debt to society. I think what is conspicuously absent from the landscape is realizing the amazing potential of these several thousand people in Vermont, and how the state would benefit by actually helping lift them up, rather than impeding their success.
— Juan J.
Read Vermont Title 28 that governs corrections in the state.