Courts & Corrections

VTDigger covers criminal justice issues including Vermont legal issues, Vermont courts and the Vermont Department of Corrections. Elizabeth Hewitt covers the criminal justice system for VTDigger. She can be reached at [email protected]

Family takes lawsuit against Brattleboro Retreat to Vermont Supreme Court

Brattleboro Retreat Psychiatric Hospital. Creative Commons photo/Flickr user pag2525

-+*Michael Kuligoski’s family sued the Brattleboro Retreat last year, after a patient released by the southern Vermont mental health hospital assaulted him, causing permanent injuries. The family appealed the case’s dismissal.

Bennington College conference looks at mental health in jails

Students and other participants listen to a panel discussion at Bennington College's “Incarceration in America” conference, earlier this month. Photo courtesy Bennington College

-+*Part of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action’s second “Incarceration in America” conference, the discussion featured five women who direct programs that assist incarcerated individuals with their mental or public health needs.

Legislative Wrap: Child protection reforms topped criminal justice agenda

Senate Judiciary

-+* The House and Senate judiciary committees banned revenge porn, passed a new law that prevents certain criminals from purchasing guns and tightened sex offender policies. Plenty is left on the to-do list for the second half of the biennium.

Obama nominates Eric Miller as U.S. Attorney

-+*Burlington attorney Eric Miller has received the president’s backing to be Vermont’s next U.S. Attorney. President Barack Obama nominated Miller on Thursday. Obama described the attorney’s career as “distinguished and impressive” in a statement. “I am confident that, as a U.S. Attorney, he will be relentless in his pursuit of justice and serve the people […]

SCOV Law Blog: An appeal for bail


-+*Three justices of the Supreme Court consider whether to affirm a lower court’s ruling to hold without bail a man accused of felony aggrevated domestic assault.

Following Uber arrest, Burlington to bulk up taxi laws


-+*Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger called for the city’s police department to step up regulations for 90 days, and then produce recommendations following that on how the city can improve taxi safety, after an Uber driver was arrested in connection with a sexual assault.

Vermont’s prison population at its lowest in over a decade

Creative Commons photo

-+*A population count this week showed the number of Vermonters in correctional facilities dropped to 1,892 – about 350 fewer inmates than there were at state’s peak in 2010.

Out-of-state prisoners headed to Michigan

Some Vermont inmates will be moved to the North Lake Correctional Facility in Michigan under a new state contract with GEO Corp. Courtesy photo

-+*The state announced a new contract for out-of-state prisoners Tuesday as the DOC continues to reduce the number of Vermonters housed out of state.

Man accused of threatening to kill Bennington prosecutor

-+*Editor’s note: This article is by By Keith Whitcomb Jr., of the Bennington Banner, in which it was first published May 15, 2015. BENNINGTON — A man serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for sexual assault, who deigned not to show up at the trial where he was convicted, is now facing federal charges alleging that he […]

Lawmakers agree to child protection reforms

Sears Pugh

-+*More than a year after two toddlers died, lawmakers finalized legislation that makes broad changes to Vermont’s child protection system, but stops short of creating a new failure to protect crime.

SCOV Law Blog: Dispute over sewage system creates a mess in probate proceeding


-+*The issue is whether a town is entitled to money from an estate, in the form of a constructive trust, to inspect and maintain a privately owned sewer system.

Lawmakers pass bill that makes it easier to clear one’s criminal record

Andy Pallito, commissioner of the Department of Corrections, left, and Bobby Sand, senior policy advisor for the Department of Public Safety, talk with lawmakers on Jan. 9, 2014. Photo by Anne Galloway

-+*People convicted of certain crimes while under age 25 will have a quicker path to expunge their record if they complete public service requirements.

McAllister may have changed his mind on resignation

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott in the Senate on Wednesday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

-+*Sen. Peg Flory says state Sen. Norm McAllister initially told her he would resign to defend himself against sexual assault charges, but may feel differently after speaking with lawyers, family.

Barre Courthouse closed for asbestos testing

-+*The Washington County Courthouse in Barre will be closed for at least the rest of this week to test for asbestos, state officials said Tuesday. Visitors and those with court hearings scheduled were asked to leave the building at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said vermiculite insulation uncovered during a weekend electrical project contained low levels […]

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