In 2007, Vermont’s prison population was projected to increase 23 percent by 2018, which would have required the state to either contract for additional out-of-state prison beds at a cost of $82 million or spend $200 million to build and operate a new prison. The CSG Justice Center worked with Vermont state leaders between 2007 and 2008 to analyze Vermont’s criminal justice data, interview stakeholders across the criminal justice system, and develop data-driven policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. Signed into law in 2008, Vermont’s justice reinvestment legislation:

  • Improves screening and assessment for behavioral health treatment needs and increases access to community-based substance use treatment programs;
  • Focuses supervision resources on individuals most likely to reoffend; and
  • Expands transitional housing opportunities and job training programs.

Between 2009 and 2013, the state reinvested $6.3 million in transitional housing, electronic monitoring, and substance use treatment in prisons and in the community. Vermont’s incarcerated population fell 7 percent between FY2007 and FY2015, from 2,202 to 2,050.