State Government

Women inmates transitional housing, sentence reform bills introduced

By Guy Page

Bills related to prison sentencing and transition have been introduced into the Vermont Legislature:

H.111prohibiting good time sentence reductions for offenses that cause death or serious bodily injury, introduced 1/22 – sponsors include several Republicans from Franklin County. As the name suggests, this bill would amend current “good time” law to prohibit good time if the conviction is for an offense involving death or seriously bodily injury. Sponsor list: Reps. Brian Savage, Lynn Batchelor, Rodney Graham, James Gregoire, Lisa Hango, James Harrison, Warren Kitzmiller, Samantha Lefebvre, Paul Martin, Woodman Page, Arthur Peterson, and Linda Sullivan.
H.137Women’s transitional housing facility, introduced 1/26. This bill proposes to: (1) create the Women’s Transitional Housing Facility Steering Committee; (2) require the Department of Buildings and General Services to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the siting and design of a women’s transitional housing facility; and (3) appropriate $150,000.00 in capital funds over Fiscal Years 2022–2023 to the Department of Buildings and General Services for the siting and design work of the women’s transitional housing facility managed and staffed by the Department of Corrections.

It is not known whether the introduction of the bill was related to the death of two women by drug overdose while under DOC supervision at a transitional home in Burlington. 
S.18Limiting earned good time sentence reductions for offenders convicted of certain crimes, introduced Jan. 13 by Sen. Richard Sears. It includes arson, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, sexual assault, and aggravated sexual assault.
S.45earned discharge from probation, introduced Jan. 26 by Sen. Richard Sears, would make discharge of probation presumptive after the midpoint review if the probationer meets certain criteria and to provide additional opportunities for discharge or term reduction for probationers who are not approved for discharge at the midpoint of their probation term.

Also, Dismas of Vermont has announced it will open a transitional housing home for women in Rutland.