Vermont Corrections Dept announces transitional housing grants

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Vermont Corrections Dept announces transitional housing grants

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 3:32pm -- tim
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:

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