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]

Courts to again try video arraignment

Patricia Gabel testifies in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

Judiciary to run pilot program in attempt to save transportation costs as it seeks to make up a $2 million budget shortage.

Senate OKs bill that prohibits certain criminals from owning guns

Sen. Dick Sears reports S.141 on Wednesday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

The legislation makes it a crime for people with certain violent or drug dealing convictions to possess firearms.

Decision on closing dispatch centers put off till September

Roman Wdowiak

House Appropriations finds money to fund call centers in Derby and Rutland through Sept. 15. After that, local regions will have to figure out how to pay for them.

Food program may be hurt if Windsor prison closes

Matthew Mabe, an inmate from Saxtons River, mans the cleaning station at Southeast State Correctional Facility's potato packaging machine. Photo by Alicia Freese

Salvation Farms employs inmates to help get surplus late-season crops into food shelves, but its plan to renovate a prison building to increase the output, for which it recently raised $156,000, is in jeopardy.

Superior Court judge vacancies raising fiscal and constitutional issues

The Windham County Courthouse in Newfane. Wikemedia Commons photo by redjar/Flickr

Vacant benches have created a backlog of cases that makes judgeships less attractive to potential appointees and have legal minds weighing the situation’s constitutionality.

SCOV Law Blog: In CHINS case, definition of ‘abuse’ debated


In this case, a child in need of supervision case was filed, alleging that M.K. was the subject of abuse.

DOC: State would need to export 100 inmates if Windsor prison is closed

Southeast State Correctional Facility

Commissioner Andy Pallito says shutting down the prison would undermine the state’s efforts to keep inmates in Vermont. Closing would save about $820,000, JFO says.

House gives preliminary approval to revenge porn bill

The House gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a measure that would create criminal penalties and increase civil options for sharing sexually explicit images without consent from the subject. The bill, H.105, addresses so-called “revenge porn,” when someone posts nude images or videos of an ex-lover as a way to get back at them. Often, images […]

Family of dead teenager files suit against Brattleboro Retreat

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

The teen suffered “serious, painful and permanent injuries” including strangulation, unconsciousness, cardiorespiratory arrest, lack of oxygen to the brain, prolonged coma, physical pain and suffering and eventual death, according to the family’s lawsuit.

Modified gun bill wins committee approval

Senate Judiciary

Bill would prohibit people with convictions for certain violent crimes from owning firearms and would require certain people with mental illness to be reported to FBI database.

SCOV Law Blog: Awarding of state-funded neutering program contract prompts lawsuit


The director of Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals Humane Society sued on behalf of herself and VVSA, alleging defamation, a due process violation, and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.

New major crimes unit of Vermont State Police to investigate complex cases

Lt. Kraig LaPorte heads the Vermont State Police new major crimes unit. Courtesy photo

The Vermont State Police have a new six-person unit to handle complex criminal investigations. Major Glenn Hall, commander of the criminal division, announced the formation of a major crimes unit Wednesday. The unit will take on homicide investigations, some missing persons cases and shootings when local police or state troopers are involved. “These are cases […]

Sears hopes to bring revised gun bill to vote this week

Tim Ashe

Background checks removed, but provisions on federal mirror law, mental health reporting and firearm suicide prevention are still in play.

Report recommends 58 new corrections officers

Prison THUMB

A national group representing prison administrators recommends that Vermont increase staff in prisons for safety and other reasons, but the Department of Corrections budget is already under scrutiny.

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