March 1, 2017
March 1, 2017
The "Vermont Way?" State & Lawmakers To Explore Building New $140 Million Prison–In Partnership With The Notorious Corrections Corporation Of America (CCA)
VTDigger reports today the the State and lawmakers are in the "very early stages" of discussions about Vermont constructing a new $140 million prison, which would be done in a "public-private partnership," most likely with CCA (now re-branded CoreCivic due to their hideously bad track record). Officials say the new prison would force closure of the Windsor, Swanton and South Burlington facilities.
VSEA Executive Director Steve Howard wasted no time blasting the idea, telling Digger:
"VSEA members “vigorously oppose” the concept of a private company owning a prison in Vermont.
“We believe there is no role for a private prison company in Vermont. It’s not consistent with Vermont’s values.”
The union has concerns that if a private prison company owned a facility, the company could jack up rental fees down the line, Howard said. The Vermont State Employees Association is also concerned that a private owner may eventually try to take over the functions of the facility.
“We don’t want to start an addiction with another private prison company.".
He said private ownership of a prison is out of line with the “rehabilitative” focus of corrections.
“A for-profit entity, when they see opportunity for more profit, are going to continue to ask for more profit,” Howard said. “Our mission is to get people out of the system and not to come back. Their incentive is to keep the beds filled.”
VSEA is urging members to weigh in early with State officials and lawmakers about how wrong this idea is for Vermont.
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