09.24.14

Vt. Receives $1 Million To Reduce Prison Recidivism

. . . Leahy-Authored Bill Would Continue Similar Programs

WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $1 million in federal funding to the Vermont Department of Corrections to meet statewide goals in reducing prison recidivism rates.  Vermont was one of five states to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for similar programs authorized by the Second Chance Act.

Leahy said:  “Reducing recidivism rates is a fundamental step to improving safety in communities around the country.  Funding for this program will help Vermont take steps toward this goal, to help make sure that offenders coming out of prison have the opportunity to turn their lives around. The Vermont Department of Corrections has done tremendous work in reducing the rate of recidivism in our state, and this grant will enable Commissioner Pallito and his team to continue to build on those successes.”

The program will provide offenders reintegrating into society with the resources they need to be successful members of their communities.  The Vermont Department of Corrections will implement a comprehensive, statewide program to accomplish this.  The program will include policy development, training, increasing quality assurance, and establishing a domestic violence prevention program.  Since state, jail, prison, and community supervision are all housed within the Vermont Agency of Human Services, this program will be implemented across the entire system, maximizing it’s impact and increasing coordination.

The announcement came just days after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved bipartisan legislation authored by Leahy to reauthorize the Second Chance Act, which supports state and local reentry programs to reduce recidivism, ease prison costs, and improve safety in communities around the country.

Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and is the senior most member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has fought for funding for this program year after year.

Leahy, joined by Senator Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), previously wrote a letter of support for the program to Attorney General Eric Holder. 

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