Punishment and Misery

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"Rehabilitation is not the goal. It's punishment and misery. For instance, an officer approached me aggressively at 7:00 am about my hands being in my pockets and I just came from outta state where you can have your hands in pockets this officer asked me to leave the chow hall. I complied then he decided he wanted to cuff me and bring me to booking for a strip search because he thought I had a weapon or contraband."

No new criminal charges

no criminal charges

"I have no new criminal charges just this VOP [violation of parole]. Since I have been back hear I have lost my mother who fell from a lader and broke her hip and passed away two months later. My brother has passed as well. The bank has repossessed my house, truck, car, boat, snowmobile, everything I have worked for."

Deathly Quiet all Night

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"What prison is the outside world, the hole is to prison. If prison is like a dungeon, the hole is like a coffin. Experts say that solitary confinemnt--even for a brief  time--can negatively affect the mind. During just that month in the hole, I was so drowining in the sense of being rejected and devalued that I "saw": shadows of people in the cell with me, little somethings daring across the floor, and water dripping down the wall--none of which was really there.


Forced Out of State

travisty for my children

"I am a father of three beautiful children. My children have not been able to visit me because of the massive amount of money it now takes to travel.... This is a travesty for my young children to have to face. They are not afforded the fatherly comfort, love, advice, and nurturing I could provide. Their mother is a great woman and is doing this all without me and has been since I was sent out of state…


This place was crime school...

hippy girl

"I can tell you that I have been in and out of jail since I was 22 years old. I am a nonviolent offender, with horrible upbringing, no support and all Bennington has ever done is just throw me in jail. I have never been offered a pro-active sentence in 12 years.


In Their Eyes

In Their Eyes"Another thing that continues to keep me in a deep reverie is the mere fact that no matter if my record shows blatantly that I have changed my violent behavior and each day I prepare myself for being a positive citizen, not detrimental to society, there's no reward for my efforts. It's like if I do good or bad it's all the same in their eyes."

Punishment and Misery

hug my mother

The auto-shop and welding shop were shut-down. There isn't any real educational programs here to help people long-term... There are zero positive outlets here. The incentive program here is fradulant. On paper everyone with no major DR's gets to see a movie but even if you fit the criteria you might still not get picked to participate. St. Ablans and Springfield play movies every weekend. This may seem small but for us it means a lot. It gives us something to look forward to...


They... They...They...

i committed a crime

The mentality is perpetuated and taught to new officers too. The training CO’s say to the trainees “They will test you… They will push the limits… They… They… They… They… When I heard these things being said it changed my life. While I had been talking to people about humanity and equality and saying things that speak to empathy


It's a good thing I have my poor mother...

my poor mother

"It's a good thing I have my poor mother still liveing and helping me in pirson or I would have nothing at all. We have no incentive and when Vermont tood the Good Time away from us a lot of guys just don't give a shit. My self I'm frustrated with the Vermont DOC but the only thing I can do is my time and be on my way."

I don't want to die in prison

die in prison

"I'm 77 years old with corenary heart disease. I'm actually dying acoording to the doctor here. I don't want to die in prison."

When did prison become a cure for addiction?

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[VCJR recieved this over JPay, the for-profit email service available inside Vt. prisons]

"This is a view point from an inmate who has served many years straight in prison-

We are locking up substance abusers for a short period of time whether a first offender, a violation of probation, or just for having an addiction. Vermonters, when did prison become a cure for addiction? It's a proven fact that every time we lock up our Vt. substance abusers we are creating a revolving door for them to lose their jobs, housing, and their children. We, as Vt. tax payers, need to make our Vt. families strong again...


I was 100% clean and in treatment...

zero concrete rules

"I ended up on furlough and I've been repeatedly over incarcerated...  As far as this Foxtrot program goes I was 100% clean and in treatment when I came to jail. The _________ picks and chooses who goes into the unit or not. There are zero concrete rules or criteria. It's 100% discrimination and just the fact that we aren't allowed to order food items is pretty unfair. So because of my "history" I am not allowed food or snacks, or to be outside except 1 time a week, or to have a sponsor visit, or to attend the meetings within the facility. "

Pro Social Life

pro social

"... I was working at Bakers Distributing in the summer of 2015 getting over 60 hours a week, saving my money for my own aprtment. I was living a pro social life but I was living in the housing coilition of Vermont and shouldn't blown #s while living there, but didn't need to go back to jail over this violation. 

I was incarserated in N.S.C.F. for out of bounds and drinking away from my residence. I have been given a six month interrupt at my casestaffing in August 2015.I am waiting on a residence in Rutland at a boarding house ware I'm forth on the list, looking forward to going back to work at Bakers and paying my six hundred a month rent while living a pro social life."

... that can't be replaced at all.

Photo albums

"Well I have a big issue for us guys who came out to Michagan. We don't have all of are allowable property that was left in ST. Albans. They say they sent the property that coudn't fit in are one box went to Southern State. So we now are told we have to conatct Southern State Facility. We shouldn't have to contact them. DOC should have them send are property. We have photo albums  in this property that have photo's that can't be replaced at all." 

My family lost 3 people last year

visit my dad

"I originally wrote a letter asking to be allowed to come back to Vermont so my father could visite me. I didn't ask to stay there permenatly. I've been out of state alittle over 4 years now. And I have 10 left to serve. My family lost 3 people last year. 1 aunt - 1 aunt that my fathers sister, and my sister, Susan. My father said he wanted to see me before he passed."

They can't use the bathroom...

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"They charge $3.00 to put money on are media accounts. They don’t charge to transfer stamps to are accounts. Medical is making guys order there own aspren now. They are taking all the guys off there aspren. Now anyone who was on aspren have to order it through Canteen. 


I wanted to take responsibility

cruel and unusual

"I did take a plea agreement. I wanted to take responsibility for my actions. I did not agree to be worked over, retaliated against, manipulated and subject to cruel and unusual punishment, pain and suffering, undue stress, un-treated medical (dental) issues, that still effect me, D.O.C. misconduct and more."

I was waiting to get into the clinic...

Lack of Housing


“I am currently here for lack of residence, and have been for almost 2 years now. In those 2 years, I was out for 6 days, and was returned for lack of residence, due to unprescribed use of the maintenance drug suboxone. I was waiting to get into the clinic in the new county. I was in, and I couldn’t get in fast enough. I’ve been an addict for 6 years now. 5 of those years I haven successful on the suboxone maintenance program.”

Criminal Breeding Grounds

shortened breeding grounds


"In my years of doing time I learned one thing. Prison is a breeding grounds for crime. A young kid get sent to prison for some dumb crime like possetion of drugs. or pot. his Life is ruined by what he learns while in prison. I don't know how much you know about Prison, but I have been involved in Prison life since 1974"

Cancer in Prison


In the spring of 2014,a slow-to-heal sore throat turned out to be cancer. By mid-October, I had been moved from the CCA facility in Kentucky to Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vermont. The bus ride was miserable. Thirty hours on a rock hard bench chained to another guy. No movement allowed except to use the toilet, while still chained together.


The Odyssey of a Vermont Inmate

Brink 2

Our nightmare begins at 8 am when our “carry-on bags” were packed. We then spent the day in limbo. At about 11 pm the first group, one hundred nineteen of us, were taken to the gym where we saw who was transporting us. Kentucky DOC, 200 strong. We were then x-rayed, stripped, examined, and dressed in paper, orange two-pieced uniforms. Afterwards, we were shackled and told to sit and wait. At this time, we found out that KY DOC was told by ________________ who was dressed in combat fatigues, that we were “max custody inmates” and “the worst of the worst from Vermont”. We were finally placed on busses, or as I like to call them “torture transports.” These busses have fiberglass bench seats, which are designed to be as uncomfortable as possible. We were put on these busses at about 2:30 am. We actually left LAC at 3:30 am. The toilet was at the back of the bus. Just a hole over a chemical tank with a horrendous smell that made an outhouse smell like a bed of roses. Most of us were not willing to chance our health or our stomachs, to venture fourth. That is when the circus really began.


‘I can’t seem to get out of jail’



Spend Vermonters’ money in Vermont

Stop inflating the cost of building, stop giving our tax money to out-of-state corporations. Use the money right to we get poor quality food and medical along with being away from our families completely destroying our lives on the outside and causing hardship to our families.

In prison, I can't ask for help for my depression

I have been suffering from depression for a long time now and have had thoughts of taking my own life for years now. (DOC) has been teaching me how to hold in my thoughts of depression instead of asking for help. If I ask for help or if I have a bad day and think about taking my own life, they will throw me in a cell up in Lock-up and strip me of all my clothing and leave me there to dwell on my thoughts until I tell them I no longer wish to take my own life...


More prisons are not the answer

Building more prisons, crime centers, etc. are not the answer to recidivism in the very least. It’s the state’s doings by making more and more and still more laws that do infringe deeply into the family unit, totally destroying it at the taxpayers expense.....Denials of residences and programming are the two favored tools used by the DOC to keep a man in these warehouses. 


Why are these inmates still in prison?

All the inmates who were brought back for lack of residence: Why are most of them still in jail? [ seems to me that sex offenders have the hardest time getting released back into society when most are in a category of people who are very unlikely to re-offend.]

Bring back Good Time

Bring back Good Time and start letting guys out of prison that have someone who will take them in. I would like to see the Feds take over Vermont DOC and clean house once and for all, starting at Waterbury, VT.

Being housed far from home gives no incentive for good behavior

The best way to systematically decrease the inmate population is to bring back across-the-board Good Time. Give inmates an incentive to follow the rules. The Federal system does it, VT used to. Giving the ability to earn reduction of time off their sentences for good behavior, program participation, prison employment, etc. only makes sense and could change the face of corrections in VT...Within several years, those who earn reductions would be transitioned early into the community, freeing up countless beds.


I miss the opportunity to be a father to my kids

My time here in KY has been filled with the loss of 4 years of visits with my kids, and the opportunity to be a father to them. To tell my kids face to face how proud of them I am. And to be able to enforce all the good behaviors, and to celebrate their achievements as best as I can. While in VT CRCF, they had a father-child visit day weekly where I and many other fathers could interact with our children one on one. We could talk about how they feel good or bad. We as fathers could enforce the care-givers rules at home or work on the problems that come with a one-parent household.


While housed in Vermont I had a positive outlook

I have been incarcerated now for 6 1/2 years, (the first half) in VT, the rest in KY.

While I was housed in VT, I graduated from high school, I took vocational classes, and I participated in several rehabilitative programs. I had a positive outlook for the future and for my reintegration into society. Being so close to home, my father, mother, and sisters visited regularly. I had a visit every week. Those visits gave me something to look forward to. I understood that if I didn’t behave myself, I would miss out on those visits. That gave me the incentive to work on my issues so that I wouldn’t bet into trouble and miss out on my visits. Those visits were very important to me. My family and I are very close.


Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform
PO Box 8753, Burlington, VT 05402
(802) 540-0440

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Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform 
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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