Fifteen agencies partner with Corrections on reentry housing and services
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Department of Corrections is partnering with 15 community organizations to provide reentry housing and services to incarcerated individuals released from correctional facilities.
Effective July 1, 2021, Vermont DOC is funding 274 beds/apartments with 15 housing providers, including two new Community Justice Centers. Housing will be offered in every district, including in Lamoille and Orange Counties, where DOC housing has not existed before.
“Vermont DOC is engaged in an evolutionary process to most effectively help people return to, and stay stably housed in their communities,” said Commissioner James Baker. “We are excited to work with both existing and new partners to provide individualized services and housing that optimize people’s dignity, stability, and personal choice. By providing congregate and scattered-site apartments, both with intensive supports, we’re offering a broader range of localized opportunities for successful reintegration into the community.”
The partner organizations are listed below and can be found on the Public Listing available on the Vermont DOC website:
- Barre Community Justice Center – 15 beds in 8 apartments Barre Community Justice Center (barrecjc.org)
- Burlington Housing Authority – Up to 51 apartments (20 through search and retention with private landlords) Offender Re-Entry Housing | Burlington Housing Authority
- Dismas of Vermont – Houses in Burlington, Winooski, Hartford, and two houses in Rutland (up to 34 beds) Home - Dismas of Vermont (dismasofvt.org)
- Franklin Grand Isle Restorative Justice Center – 10 beds, mix of congregate living and apartments Healing Our Communities | Franklin Grand Isle Restorative Justice Center (fgirjc.org)
- Groundworks Collaborative – 14 beds, mix of congregate living and apartments with vouchers Welcome to Groundworks Collaborative | Groundworks Collaborative (groundworksvt.org)
- Hartford Community Restorative Justice Center – 9 beds in 5 apartments Hartford Community Restorative Justice Center – Reducing Crime, Restoring Community (hartfordjusticecenter.org)
- Homeless Prevention Center – 9 beds in 5 apartments Homeless Prevention Center | Rutland County, VT (hpcvt.org)
- John Graham Housing & Services – 4 beds in congregate living John Graham Housing & Services (johngrahamshelter.org)
- Montpelier Community Justice Center – 2 apartments and reentry services Community Justice Center | Montpelier, VT (montpelier-vt.org)
- Northeast Kingdom Community Action – 7 congregate beds in Newport & Coventry Community & Justice Programs – NEKCA (nekcavt.org)
- Orange County CJC – 5 beds in 3 apartments Restorative Justice Program in Orange County Vermont | Programs and Services (cjnvt.org)
- Pathways Vermont – Expanding into Rutland, Morrisville, Springfield, and Bennington; increased capacity in Brattleboro and Burlington, and continued presence in Barre, Middlebury, and St. Albans (98 apartments statewide) Pathways Vermont | 10+ Years Of Ending Homelessness
- Springfield Supported Housing – 5 apartments Springfield Supported Housing Program – 15 years of successful transitional housing programs (sshpvt.org)
- St. Johnsbury CJC – 8 beds in scattered apartments Restorative Justice Program in St. Johnsbury Vermont | Programs and Services (cjnvt.org)
- Washington County Youth Service Bureau-Return House – Congregate beds for youth, Co-funded with DCF (3 DOC beds, 7 DCF beds) Community Programs (wcysb.org)
A public Request for Proposals was issued in January 2021. In March, Vermont DOC received applications from 25 different organizations. A cross-agency team of six people reviewed and scored each application based on consistent criteria, and also analyzed proposals based on past performance outcomes, capacity needed in each district, and total average score. Prior to finalizing decisions, the team consulted with Vermont DOC field staff and leadership, as well as other Agency of Human Services Departments to coordinate efforts on mutual grantees.
The Department of Corrections undertook this process as part of Justice Reinvestment work with the legislature and the Council of State Governments (CSG). According to CSG: “Nearly 80 percent of all prison admissions in Vermont were for violations of terms of furlough, probation, or parole supervision from 2017 to 2019. The majority of people who returned to prison for violating the terms of their furlough release did so due to technical violations, which frequently consist of minor offenses, such as a lack of housing, failed drug tests, or missed appointments and curfews.” To help address this challenge, the Vermont DOC Transitional Housing Team created a “Theory of Change”, which serves as a framework for investments in re-entry programs that deliver supportive housing that is trauma-informed, provides a range of services, and is focused on restorative justice.
Source: Waterbury, VT, July 19, 2021 – Vermont Department of Corrections