State Government

Newport prison superintendent on leave, won’t return

Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport

by Guy Page

The superintendent of the state prison in Newport has been placed on administrative leave and is not expected to return, the Secretary of the Agency of Human Services (AHS) confirmed today.

Following discussion about his management and leadership, Supt. Scott Martin of the Northern State Correctional Facility was placed on administrative leave. “This was a difficult decision” unrelated to a recent inmate death or media coverage of it, AHS Secretary Jenny Samuelson said. She did refer to culture change in the Dept. of Corrections (part of AHS) and ongoing morale problems. Like law enforcement workers virtually everywhere in Vermont, state prison guards are working overtime due to pandemic restrictions and the more general shortfall in workers.

The decision was taken after “a thorough review,” new Samuelson confirmed at today’s press conference. Michael Koehler is the acting superintendent.

“The Vermont Department of Corrections is committed to changing the culture of corrections, adapting to new realities, and ushering in a new era of leadership and commitment to our team. This type of change requires clear and proactive leadership and a focus on making the best decisions in good faith and with integrity,” said Commissioner Nicholas Deml in a DOC statement. “Sometimes changing a system means changing who is in charge. As the Department moves out of the pandemic, we are fully leaning into Department-wide changes aimed at improving the morale and well-being of staff and incarcerated individuals.”

2 replies »

  1. If anyone wanted to take the time they will find that Northern State correctional facility has always been rife with corruption, cruelty and incompetence. They have even had an employee who stole thousands of dollars from the inmate canteen funds who only got a slap on the wrist for it.
    The Agency of Human Services is riddled with some of the worst corruption in VT government.

  2. So…We’re “leaning into” change? These MORONS speak in pure bumper sticker language & all the gibberish they spew makes VP Harris look like a GENIUS by comparison..Maybe the “Commish” needs a full time (& well paid) spokesperson to come up w/something a bit more unintelligible for public consumption, THIS is so lame it hurts ME to read it!