YCQM: October 27, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: October 27, 2013

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING IS THE CHINTZ COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY T.J. DONOVAN. WE'LL DISCUSS THE COURT'S BACKLOG, DRUG COURT AND SOME HIGH-PROTILE CASES HIS OFFICE IS DEALING WITH. THANKS TO BEING HERE.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> LET'S BEGIN WITH THE NUMBER OF DETAINEES IN THE COURT SYSTEM, HOVERING AROUND 450 RIGHT NOW. THE CORRECTIONS COMMISSIONER CALLS THAT A PROBLEM. TU SEE THAT AS A PROBLEM AND WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?

>> FIRST OF ALL, THANKS FOR HAVING ME. IT IS A PROBLEM BECAUSE THE DETAINEE POPULATION, THE PRETRIAL POPULATION THAT'S HELD FOR LACK OF BAIL, CREATES A BACKLOG AND WHEN YOU HAVE BACKLOG, PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE GOING INTO JAIL DON'T GO INTO JAIL. SECONDLY, PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN'T BE IN JAIL DON'T GET OUT OF JAIL BECAUSE THEIR CASES AREN'T HEARD AS TIMELY AS THEY SHOULD BE, SO I THINK THE COMMISSIONER WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT IT IS AN ISSUE AND I THINK THE LEGISLATURE A FEW YEARS BACK SET A LIMIT OF SAYING, REALLY, WE SHOULD ONLY HAVE 300 DETAINEES IN THE STATE OF VERMONT. AS YOU SAID, IT'S ABOUT 450, SO THAT MEANS A COUPLE THINGS IN TERMS OF THE ACTUAL PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS IN COURT. VERY DIFFICULT TO DO SOMETIMES, TO HAVE PEOPLE HELD ON BAIL BECAUSE OF THE BACKLOG. TREMENDOUS PRESSURE ON JUDGES, WE'RE BEING TOLD THEY WILL PUT ANYBODY IN AND THAT CREATES TENSION CERTAINLY WITHIN THE SYSTEM FOR FOLKS, PROSECUTORS THINK SHOULD BE HELD WITHOUT BAIL. IT ALSO RAISES AN ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE WHO NEED TREATMENT AND OTHER SERVICES ARE GETTING ACCESS TO TREATMENT, AND FINALLY, IT'S A FINANCIAL ISSUE BECAUSE IT REALLY DRIVES THE CORRECTIONS BUDGET. 40 DETAINEES COST THE STATE ONE MILLION DOLLARS AND SO THERE ARE A COUPLE ISSUES THAT I THINK CAN BE ADDRESSED TO MOVE THE DETAINEE POPULATION BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY AND REDUCE IT. AND QUITE SIMPLY, FOR ME, I THINK WE CAN ALL ACCEPT IN THIS STATE WOOR NOT GOING TO BUILD -- WE'RE NOT GOING TO GILD MORE JAILS, SO THE QUESTION IS ARE WE PUTTING THE PEOPLE WHO TRULY POSE THE GREATEST THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY IN JAIL WHERE THEY SHOULD BE, AND ARE WE GOING TO CREATE MORE CAPACITY? WELL, YOU DO THAT, I THINK, BY SETTING PRIORITIES AND BY BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE ON THE FRONT END. IN OUR COMMUNITY, CAN WE TRULY CREATE A SYSTEM OF CARE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE FRONT END SO FOLKS WHO ARE COMING IN TO OUR COURT SYSTEM BECAUSE OF ISSUES WITH ADDICTION, WE HAVE A HUGE HEROIN PROBLEM IN THE STATE. PEOPLE WHO SELL IT AND COME HERE TO SELL IT SHOULD GO TO JAIL, PERIOD. PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED AND MAY BE STEALING TO FEED THEIR HABIT, WE HAVE TO GET THEM TREATMENT. IT'S A TERRIBLE DEVASTATING ADDICTION. WE'RE LOSING A LOT OF PEOPLE, PEOPLE ARE DYING BECAUSE OF OVERDOSE FROM HEROIN, SO THE ISSUE IS HOW DO WE GET PEOPLE ACCESS TO TREATMENT IN A TIMELY MANNER THAT DOES A COUPLE THINGS. NUMBER ONE, GETS THEM STABILIZED, HEALTHY, AND GETS THEM TO BE PRODUCTIVE LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS. IT WILL ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY AND SAVE TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

>> YOU MENTIONED TREATMENT IS KEY. I DON'T THINK THERE'S MANY MEME ARE GOING TO DISAGREE WITH YOU ON THAT ONE. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT LAWMAKERS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, BUT THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE ENOUGH TREATMENT FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS AND IT GETS AT THE PROBLEM THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO BUILD ANOTHER JAIL AND IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME A TREATMENT CENTER GOES INTO A COMMUNITY, A NEIGHBORHOOD A TOWN, THERE ARE A LOT OF CONCERN.

>> NOT IN MY BACKYARD.

>> NOT IN MY BACKYARD. PEOPLE GET VERY CONCERNED AND YOU'VE ALREADY SAID THESE ARE PEOPLE WITH AN ADDICTION, A DISEASE, AND THEY HAVE TO FEED THAT DISEASE AND PEOPLE DON'T WANT THESE PEOPLE FOR WHATEVER REASON IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, SO HOW DO YOU COMBAT THAT? IT'S OKAY TO SAY WE NEED MORE TREATMENT, BUT HOW DO YOU GET AT THAT PIECE OF IT?

>> THE FIRST PART IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THESE PEOPLE, OFTENTIMES OUR BROTHERS, OUR SISTERS, OUR COUSINS, OUR FRIENDS, OUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS NOT A CERTAIN SCLAS OF PEOPLE THAT ARE ADDICTED TO DRUGS OR SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESS. THE ISSUE OF ADDICTION TOUCHES ALL OF US AND IN PARTICULAR WITH A HEROIN ADDICTION, AS I SAID, I THINK IT'S AT AN EPIDEMIC LEVEL.

>> SO THAT'S STILL NUMBER ONE?

>> TRUE.

>> AND METH NOT FAR BEHIND?

>> THAT'S TRUE, BUT I THINK VERMONT HAS DONE SOME PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO STEM THE INFLUX OF METH, BUT THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS REALLY CONCERNING TO IN ANYBODY LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE STATE BECAUSE THAT'S AN EXTREMELY SCARY DRUG, HEROIN AS WELL, BUT I THINK WHAT YOU SAW WAS A MAJOR PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROBLEM WHICH THEN MORPHED BACK INTO HEROIN FOR A COUPLE REASONS. THEY CHANGED THE RELEASE OF THE OXYCONTIN TABLET, SO YOU WEREN'T GETTING THE HIGH AS QUICKLY OR EASILY.

>> AND COST.

>> AND COST. HEROIN IS MUCH CHEAPER AND POUR POTENT AND IT IS BEING FLOODED ON THE STREET, SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT VERMONT, NUMBER ONE, THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT IS LET'S ADMIT THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO SELL DRUGS. YOU CAN COME UP, THE DEMAND IS GREAT HERE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE ISSUE OF DRUGS, THERE'S NO WRONG ANSWER, BUT I'M NOT SURE WE SHOULD JUST ATTACK IT ON THE SUPPLY SIDE. I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE DEMAND SIDE.

>> YOU MENTIONED TREATMENT AND YOU SAY THIS IS SOCIOECONOMIC, AN ADDICTION, IT IMPACTS EVERYBODY, BUT HOW DO YOU CONVINCE SOMEONE WHO HAS A FAMILY AND IS LIVING NEAR -- YOU HAVE TWO YOUNG CHILDREN AND YOU SAY, OH, YEAH, JUST DOWN THE BLOCK, THERE'S GOING TO BE A TREATMENT FACILITY.

>> SURE. I THINK IT'S KEY FOR PEOPLE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT LIKE MYSELF TO BE WILLING TO SPEAK UP IN FAVOR OF TREATMENT. I DID THAT WITH THE METHADONE CLINIC IN SOUTH BURLINGTON AND I THINK THAT'S THE CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF WHAT YOU JUST ARTICULATED, THIS REACTION, WHICH I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE'S KIDS. THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO PUT PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED TO DRUGS AND MAY POSE A THREAT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS NEXT TO OUR SCHOOLS. I UNDERSTAND THAT. HERE'S THE REALITY. THERE ARE 600 PEOPLE ON THE WAITING LIST RIGHT NOW FOR THE METHADONE CLINIC. THAT AND THE OTHER TYPE OF MEDICATION IS REALLY THE BEST TREATMENT RIGHT NOW. MY POINT TO THE FOLKS THAT OPPOSE THE INCREASED CAPACITY AND THE LOCATION FOR THE CLINIC, AND I SHOULD SAY PEOPLE DON'T OPPOSE THE INCREASED CAPACITY, THEY OPPOSE THE LOCATION, IS THIS. OUR PUBLIC SAFETY IS THREATENED GREATER WITHOUT THE INCREASED CAPACITY BECAUSE THOSE FOLKS WHO AREN'T GETTING TREATMENT, GIVEN THE STRENGTH OF THIS ADDICTION, OPPOSE A GREATER THREAT BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THEY'RE DOING. THEY'RE STEALING, THEY'RE BREAKING INTO PEOPLE'S HOMES, PEOPLE'S CARS, WRITING BAD CHECKS IN ORDER TO GET THE MEANS TO GET THE DRUG TO FEED THEIR ADDICTION. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO. WE REALLY HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE, LAW ENFORCEMENT, I THINK YOU'RE SEEING, THAT SPEAK UP AND SAY TREATMENT IS A PART OF OUR COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC SAFETY PLAN. IT IS A PILLAR OF THE PLAN AND IT HAS TO BE BECAUSE, AGAIN, WE'RE NOT BUILDING MORE JAILS. LET'S INCREASE THE CAPACITY IN OUR CURRENT SYSTEM BY BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE FRONT END, HAVE A COORDINATED SYSTEM OF CARE AND ACCOUNTABILITY, USE ASSESSMENT TOOLS ON IT'S NOT AN ARBITRARY SYSTEM OF A PROSECUTOR OR JUDGE LOOKING AT A PIECE OF PAPER AND SAYING THIS PERSON IS A THREAT, BUT RATHER, LET'S USE SCIENCE THROUGH RISK ASSESSMENT TOOLS TO TRULY MEASURE NOT ONLY RISK, BUT ALSO NEED, LINK THEM TO A COMMUNITY GROUP IN OUR COMMUNITY AND LET'S GET PEOPLE ACCESS TO TREATMENT WHEN THEY NEED IT.

>> SO TO REITERATE, ABOUT 450 DETAINEES AT THIS POINT HERE IN VERMONT. IT'S ABOUT THE SAME NUMBER OF FOLKS THAT WE'RE SHIPPING OUT OF STATE TO PRISONS LIKE IN KENTUCKY, FOR EXAMPLE. COULD WE END THAT PRACTICE IF WE GOT A HANDLE ON DETAINEES?

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK BASED ON THE NUMBERS, WE COULD POSSIBLY. YOU MENTIONED THAT WE SEND PEOPLE FROM VERMONT WHO ARE INCARCERATED TO OUT OF STATE LIKE KENTUCKY. WE'RE SENDING THEM TO PRIVATE CORPORATIONS, FOR-PROFIT ENTITIES LIKE CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, TO INCARCERATE VERMONTERS. I DON'T SUPPORT THAT. I THINK THE TEST OF ANY COMMUNITY IS HOW WE THE MOST VULNERABLE AND WHEN YOU'RE BEHIND BARS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU DID, AND SOMEBODY CONTROLS EVERY MOVEMENT OF YOUR DAY, YOU'RE PART OF THE VULNERABLE POPULATION. I THINK IT'S INCUMBENT ON US THAT WE TREAT EVEN THE PEOPLE WE MAY DETEST, WHO HAVE DONE TESH THINGS, THE RESPECT AND DIGNITY THEY DESERVE EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE BEHIND BARS AND THAT MEANS INCARCERATING THEM IN THE STATE OF VERMONT, NOT TO A FOR-PROFIT, OUT-OF-STATE CORPORATION. WE NEED A SYSTEM OF APPROACH BECAUSE WHAT WE HAVE IN THIS SYSTEM, IN OUR COUNTY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, THAT'S WHERE CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESIDES. IT'S A COUNTY-BASED SYSTEM SO YOU HAVE 14 ELECTED PROSECUTORS WHO VERY RARELY AGREE ON THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION OR BEST PRACTICE, AND THAT'S FINE BECAUSE WE'RE LOCALLY ELECTED INDIVIDUALS, BUT SOMEHOW, THERE HAS TO BE CONSISTENCY BROUGHT TO THE STATE ABOUT WHO WE DEEM TO TRULY BE A PUBLIC RISK AND A PUBLIC THREAT.

>> AND WHO SHOULD DETERMINE THAT?

>> I THAT WE WANT TO USE -- I THINK THAT WE WANT TO USE, WHETHER IT'S CLINICIANS OR COMMUNITY COORDINATORS ON CONDUCT RISK ASSESSMENTS ON FOLKS AS THEY COME IN. MEASURE RISK, MEASURE NEEDS, GIVE THE INFORMATION TO THE JUDGE, HAVE A DISINTERESTED THIRD PARTY, MEANING NOT A PROSECUTOR, NOT A DEFENSE ATTORNEY, NOT A JUDGE, CONDUCT AN ASSESSMENT, MEASURE THOSE ISSUES I SAID, FLIGHT RISK, NEEDS, PUBLIC SAFETY RISK, AND GIVE IT TO THE JUDGE, GIVE IT TO THE PROSECUTOR, GIVE IT TO THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY, AND HAVE A BAIL ARGUMENT, BUT ALSO GIVE THE JUDGE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LINK THIS INDIVIDUAL, TO ORDER THE INDIVIDUAL FOR TREATMENT IN THE COMMUNITY AND THEN YOU CAN ENSURE COMPLIANCE AS WELL. WHAT WE DON'T HAVE IN OUR STATE IS ESSENTIALLY PRETRIAL SERVICES. OTHER STATES DO AND IT'S A STRUCTURAL NICHE VERMONT. THE DEPARTMENT OF CONNECTIONS IS UNDER THE AGENCY OF HUMAN SERVICES, WHICH MAKES SENSE FOR A LOT OF REASONS. THE MISSION IS TO CORRECT PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOR AND HAVE THEM NOT REOFFEND AND I THINK EVERYONE SUPPORTS THAT GENERAL NOTION. THE REALITY IS ABOUT 50% OF PEOPLE IN CORRECTIONS REOFFEND AND ARE BACK IN JAIL AT A GREAT COST TO THE INDIVIDUAL, TO THE COMMUNITY AND TO THE TAXPAYER. CORRECTIONS' BUDGET IS $140 MILLION. $79,000 TO INCARCERATE A WOMAN IN THE STATE OF VERMONT, $54,000 TO INCARCERATE A MAN. THIS IS BIG MONEY WITH A HIGH FAILURE RATE. IF THE ISSUE IS MENTAL HEALTH, 80% OF THE WOMEN INCARCERATED IN VERMONT RECEIVE MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT. IT'S AN EXTREMELY HIGH NUMBER. IF THE ISSUE IS ADDICTION, WE SHOULD USE OUR PARTNERS IN THE COMMUNITY. WE HAVE GREAT SOCIAL SERVICES IN VERMONT. IT'S A QUESTION OF COORDINATION, A QUESTION OF ACCESS TO TREATMENT AND A QUESTION OF COMPLIANCE, AND I THINK WE CAN DO THAT IN A STATE BY UTILIZING SCIENCE, UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY AND REALLY HAVING A DATA-TRIF DRIVEN APPROACH TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE.

>> THE BURLINGTON CITY COUNCIL IS LOOKING AT GUN CONTROL MEASURES IN THE CITY. HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM IS GUN AND GUN VIOLENCE IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY?

>> IT IS AN ISSUE.

>> HOW BIG OF AN ISSUE? WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT DRUGS.

>> ANYTIME YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT DRUGS, YOU SHOULD TALK ABOUT GUNS. THEY GO HAND IN HAND FOR PEOPLE DEALING IN DRUGS, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, AND I THINK THAT'S ACCEPTED IN LAW ENFORCEMENT. THAT'S A REAL ISSUE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT IN TERMS OF OFFICER SAFETY. I'M NOT TALKING ADDICTS WITH GUNS, I'M TALKING PEOPLE WHO ARE SELLING DRUGS.

>> WOULD THIS ORDINANCE REALLY -- WOULD THE DRUG DEALERS GO, OH, BURLINGTON HAS AN ORDINANCE OR I'M NOT GOING TO X, Y, Z?

>> IT'S A QUESTION OF ENFORCEMENT, NUMBER ONE, RIGHT? IN TERMS OF DETERRING BEHAVIOR. I THINK THE ISSUE THAT WAS PRESENTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL LAST NIGHT REALLY MAKES SENSE. OBVIOUSLY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, I THINK WE'VE SEEN IN THIS STATE, IN THIS COUNTY, HORRIFIC CRIMES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WHICH HAVE RESULTED IN SERIOUS INJURIES AND HAVE RESULTED IN DEATH. SO ANYBODY WHO IS ACCUSED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HAS BEEN CHARGED REALLY SHOULD LOSE THEIR RIGHT TO POSSESS A FIREARM. THAT'S ABOUT THE SAFE STORAGE THING. THE ISSUE OF GUNS IN BARS, ABSOLUTELY THAT'S AN ISSUE, SOMETHING I SUPPORT. WE'VE SEEN -- I CAN'T GIVE YOU THE NUMBER OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, BUT ENOUGH CASES OF YOUNG MEN OUT DRINKING IN THE BARS WHERE THEY HAVE A HANDGUN IN THEIR WAISTBAND AND LET'S BE HONEST. WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE. YOU'RE AT A BAR DRINKING, YOU HAVE A FIGHT, AND WORDS ARE EXCHANGED AND PUNCHES THROWN. YOU DON'T SOMEBODY TO PULL OUT A GUN WHO'S BEEN DRINKING ALL NIGHT IN A BAR AND HAVE A TRAGEDY. THE SHOOTING THAT OCCURRED IN BURLINGTON A FEW WEEKS BACK IN THE NORTH END STEMMED FROM A BAR FIGHT IN DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON AND ENDED UP WITH SOMEBODY BEING SHOT IN THE OLD NORTH END. THOSE ARE COMMON SENSE APPROACHES TO PUBLIC SAFETY. IT'S JUST A BAD IDEA TO ALLOW SOMEBODY TO HAVE A GUN WHEN THEY'RE OUT DRINKING LATE AT NIGHT. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. AGAIN, ON THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FRONT, ABSOLUTELY, SOMEBODY WHO'S BEEN CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHOULDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR FIREARM. THIS IS ABOUT PREVENTING FUTURE CRIMES AND PREVENTING, I THINK, DEATH.

>> THERE'S A LOT MORE TO TALK ABOUT, INCLUDING A RECENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

>>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE. WE'RE TALKING WITH T.J. DONOVAN, CHITTENDEN COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING.

>> DARREN, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> NICE TO YOU TOO, T.J. LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE THAT KRISTEN WAS JUST REFERRING TO BEFORE WE WENT TO BREAK. AN UNFORTUNATE CASE HERE IN BURLINGTON INVOLVING CARLENE AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ACCUSED OF BEATING HER VICIOUSLY WITH A BASEBALL BAT. WHERE ARE WE AT IN THAT CASE? HAVE ADDITIONAL CHARGES BEEN FILED YET?

>> HE STILLS REMAINS HELD WITHOUT BAIL, BEING DETAINED, ONE OF THE 450 PRETRIAL. THE CASE IS CURRENTLY UNDER INVESTIGATION AND WE'RE WAITING FOR MORE EVIDENCE, SOME -- WE PUT SOME EVIDENCE OUT FOR SOME TESTING, AND THAT INFORMATION HAS NOT COME BACK AND WHEN IT DOES, I THINK WE'LL MAKE THE APPROPRIATE DECISION TO PROCEED FURTHER WITH THIS CASE. I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY IT'S A PENDING CASE AND I CAN'T SAY TOO MUCH OTHER THAN THAT THIS IS ONE OF THOSE CASES WHERE IT'S AFFECTED THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY BECAUSE I THINK OF THE VICIOUSNESS OF IT, AND I'VE HAD CERTAINLY PLENTY OF PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AND ASK HOW COLLEEN IS DOING. I CAN REMEMBER IT WAS BROUGHT UP IN CHURCH ONE SUNDAY. IT'S ONE OF THOSE CASES THAT I THINK HAS NOT ONLY AFFECT THIS ENTIRE COMMUNITY, BUT IT RAISES AWARENESS, AGAIN, ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND IT'S JUST A HORRIFIC CASE. IT'S A CASE THAT OBVIOUSLY IS A PRIORITY FOR MY OFFICE AND IT'S A CASE THAT WE'RE GOING TO PROSECUTE TO THE FULL LESS EXTENT OF THE LAW -- FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT THE COMMUNITY DEPANNEDS.

>> WHAT EVIDENCE ARE YOU WAITING FOR IN.

>> BLOOD RESULTS.

>> ON THE CHILDREN?

>> SOME EVIDENCE THAT WAS OBTAIN FROM THE SCENE STA WE'RE WAITING TO GET BACK.

>> SPEAKING OF THE CHRN, THERE HAD BEEN SOME REPORTS THAT THE KIDS MAY HAVE BEEN DRUGGED BEFORE THIS ATTACK. WHERE ARE WE AT ON THAT?

>> THAT'S PART OF THE EVIDENCE THAT'S BEEN SENT OUT FOR LAB ANALYSIS. ESSENTIALLY, THAT WAS -- THERE WAS SOME STATEMENTS MADE BY THE CHILDREN THAT, THAT DADDY HAD ESSENTIALLY GIVEN THEM SOME CANDY THE NIGHT BEFORE. THIS IS PUBLIC RECORD, SO CERTAINLY CAN BE DISCUSSED. THE KIDS WENT THROUGH NOT ONLY THE AT STACK -- SLEPT THROUGH NOT ONLY THE ATTACK, WHICH WAS A VERY SUBSTANTIAL LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE AND FIRST RESPONDER RESPONSE TO THE SCENE, SO CERTAINLY IT'S EVIDENCE THAT WE'RE TRYING TO OBTAIN TO EXAMINE, CERTAINLY GOES TO THE ISSUE OF MOTIVE. WE WANT THAT INFORMATION SO WE CAN MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT NEXT STEPS. AND THAT ALL BEING SAID, YOU KNOW, THIS IS, AGAIN -- THIS IS A CASE WHICH I THINK ALL OF US, EVEN POLICE, PROSECUTORS WHO SOMETIMES ARE DETACHED FROM THE EMOTION OF THE CASES, RIGHTFULLY SO, I THINK EVERYBODY WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE, WHO HAS VIEWED THE EVIDENCE, UNDERSTANDS HOW IMPORTANT THE PROSECUTION OF THIS CASE IS.

>> IS THIS THE -- THIS EVIDENCE, THIS LAB RESULTS, IS THAT THE LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE? ARE THERE OTHER LAB RESULTS YOUR OFFICE IS WAITING ON AS WELL?

>> THERE ARE A COUPLE DIFFERENT PIECES OF EVIDENCE THAT HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE LAB FOR ANALYSIS. SOME ARE NOT PART OF THE PUBLIC RECORD YET, AND, YOU KNOW, THERE'S ALSO ISSUES HERE REGARDING PRIVACY AND FRANKLY, RESPECT TO THE FAMILY, TO THE VICTIM IN THIS CASE, AND WHILE THE CRIMINAL COURTS ARE ALWAYS -- ARE FRANKLY THE MOST TRANSPARENT FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECAUSE ANYTHING YOU DO IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD IN TERMS OF WHAT'S SET IN COURT AND WHAT'S FILED WITH THE COURT, I THINK SOMETIMES IT'S INCUMBENT ON THE STATE, THE PROSECUTOR, THE POLICE, TO REALLY PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY BEFORE RELEASING CERTAIN INFORMATION THAT, FRANKLY, I'M NOT SURE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW. YOU KNOW, THE FACTS OUT THERE ARE HORRIFIC ENOUGH. IT'S A CASE THAT'S OBVIOUSLY A PRIORITY AND WE'RE GOING TO DO OUR JOB.

>> HOW IS COLLEEN DOING?

>> BY ALL ACCOUNTS, I THINK SHE'S DOING AMAZINGLY WELL AND, YOU KNOW, EARLY ON, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS CONVERSATIONS SS ABOUT WHERE THIS CASE WOULD GO IN TERMS OF A CHARGE, AND BY ALL ACCOUNTS, SHE'S BEEN IMPROVING FROM WHAT I'VE BEEN INFORMED AND FRANKLY, NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE AND I WOULD HAVE TO THINK THAT JUST THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT AND LOVE NOT ONLY FROM HER FAMILY, BUT FROM THE COMMUNITY, PERHAPS, HAS HELPED IN JUST A LITTLE WAY.

>> SO DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE -- I KNOW AURORA -- YOU'RE STILL WAITING ON SEVERAL KEY PIECES OF INFORMATION TO COME BACK. DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE IN YOUR MIND OF WHAT KIND OF CHARGE YOUR OFFICE IS LOOKING AT?

>> WE REALLY DO, BUT BEFORE WE CAN OBVIOUSLY DO THAT, WE WANT TO GATHER ALL THE EVIDENCE AND BECAUSE THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT CASE, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS AND THAT WHATEVER WE DO, THE FIRST PEOPLE WE TALK TO IS THE FAMILY.

>> DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE ON WHEN THE LAB RESULTS MIGHT COME?

>> OBVIOUSLY WE HOPE SOONER THAN LATER.

>> WEEKS POSSIBLY?

>> WEEKS, POSSIBLY SOONER THAN THAT, AND UNDERSTAND, AGAIN, THAT BALANCE WE NEED TO STRIKE OF PRIVACY NOT ONLY FOR THE VICTIM, BUT PROTECTING THE INTEGRITY OF THE INVESTIGATION, BUT WITH A HIGH-PROFILE CASE, ALSO INFORMING THE PUBLIC. OBVIOUSLY THIS CASE HAS A LOT OF PUBLIC INTEREST IN IT.

>> AS YOU MENTIONED, REALLY SHOOK THE COMMUNITY.

>> IT DID, AND PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED AND PEOPLE REALLY CARE AND PEOPLE ARE REALLY PULLING FOR HER, SO I THINK WE'RE TRYING TO STRIKE THE BALANCE OF DOING OUR JOB, INFORMING THE PUBLIC, PROTECTING THE INTEGRATE GRIT OF THE INVESTIGATION AND, THE PRIVACY OF COLLEEN AND HER FAMILY. IT'S LIKELY MORE INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED. IT'S JUST ALL IN DUE TIME.

>> FAIR ENOUGH.

>> YOU'RE HEADED TO DENVER SOON TO TALK ABOUT THE REC PROGRAM. TELL US WHAT THAT IS AND APPARENTLY YOU'RE PUSHING FOR THIS TO BE A NATIONAL MODEL OF SOME SORT?

>> YEAH, THE RIC IS ESSENTIALLY THE PILOT PROJECT WE STARTED IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY, WHICH IS RAPID INTERVENTION COMMUNITY COURT. WE'RE NOT GOOD AT MARKETING, WE NEED TO BETTER WORD FOR WHAT I CALL IT, BUT IT'S ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE DISCUSSED. WE HAVE A COMMUNITY COORDINATOR, A PERSON WHO IS A RETIRED COP OF 31 YEARS AND ESSENTIALLY PEOPLE WHO COME INTO OUR SYSTEM, WHETHER THEY'RE CHARGED WITH RETAIL THEFT, POSSESSION OF DRUGS, LARCENY, ANYTHING THAT REALLY IS DRIVEN BY CRIME OR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, WE'RE HAVING AN INTERVENTION AND WE'RE DOING EXACTLY AS I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, THE COMMUNITY CURED COORDINATOR COORDINATOR, NOT A LAWYER, NOT A PROSECUTOR, NOT A TWENS ATTORNEY, SAYING, LOOK, YOU WANT TO CONTEST YOUR CHARGES, THERE'S THE COURTROOM DOOR, GO RIGHT AHEAD, BUT WE WANT TO HELP YOU. CAN WE ASK YOU A COUPLE QUESTIONS AND IF YOU DO WHATEVER THE PLAN IS, WE WON'T CHARGE YOU. SO WHAT WE DO IS WE UTILIZE NA RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL, WHICH IS AN EVIDENCE-BASED SCIENTIFIC TOOL TO MEASURE RISK, TO MEASURE NEEDS. OFTEN WHAT'S DRIVING THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, DRUG ADDICTION, OFTENTIMES BOTH AT THE SAME TIME, HOMELESSNESS, EVERY FACTOR YOU CAN THINK OF THAT WOULD COME INTO THE CRIMINAL COURT, WE'RE TRYING TO ADDRESS. WE THEN LINK THEM WITH A PARTNER SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY IN THE COMMUNITY AND WE MONITOR THEM WITH COMPLIANCE THROUGH TELEPHONE MONITORING FOR ABOUT 90 DAYS AND IF THEY SUCCESSFULLY COMPLY WITH WHATEVER THE TREATMENT PLAN IS AND IT'S NOT US DOING THE CLINICAL WORK, WE'RE JUST FACILITATING THE ACCESS TO TREATMENT, WE WON'T FILE THE CHARGE. WE HAD AN OUTCOME STUDY DONE BY THE VERMONT CENTER FOR CRIMINAL RESEARCH AND OUR RECIDIVISM RATE AFTER TWO YEARS WAS 7%, WAS REALLY AMAZING. THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS RATE, MEASURED EVERY THREE YEARS, IS ABOUT 52 OR 43% DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ASK AND HOW YOU DEFINE IT, SO WE'RE AT 7% AND IT REALLY IS A PUBLIC HEALTH STRATEGY OF INTERVENTION, CURED ANYWAY, LINKING PEOPLE TO -- COORDINATION, LINKING PEOPLE TO APPROPRIATE SERVICES AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME AND GIVING THEM THE INCENTIVE TO DO WELL IN THE COMMUNITY. NUMBER ONE, IT'S A LOT CHEAPER THAN PUTTING SOMEBODY IN JAIL, $54,000 A YEAR, MORE MEANINGFUL FOR THE PERSON AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING. IF WE CAN DO THIS IN A STATEWIDE APPROACH, I THINK THAT NUMBER OF 450 DETAINEES WOULD BE REDUCED. WE REDUCE THE CAPACITY IN OUR EXISTING JAILS, BUT WE ALSO, BY REDUCING THE NUMBERS IN OUR JAILS, WE ALSO CREATE THE CAPACITY SO THE PEOPLE WHO COMMIT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTS, WHO SEXUALLY ASSAULT WOMEN, WHO COMMIT MURDER, WHO COME TO VERMONT TO SELL DRUGS, THAT'S THE PLACE, THOSE ARE THE JAIL BEDS THAT WE SHOULD BE USING FOR THOSE FOLKS.

>> JUST QUICKLY, ARE YOU GOING TO RUN AGAIN FOR THE JOB THAT YOU RAN FOR TWO YEARS AGO?

>> YOU KNOW, KRISTEN, IT'S OCTOBER, WE'RE JUST A LITTLE PAST PEAK --

>> I KNOW WHAT MONTH IT IS.

>> WE'RE PAST PEAK SEND IN THE FOLIAGE AND I GOT TO TELL YOU, I THINK VERMONTERS DON'T LIKE CONSTANT CAMPAIGNING, AND --

>> WE'RE NOT ASKING YOU TO CAMPAIGN. I'M JUST WONDERING ARE YOU GOING TO RUN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL. YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANNOUNCE YOUR CAMPAIGN.

>> IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO IT, WE'D LOVE FOR YOU TO DO IT RIGHT HERE.

>> WELL, YOU HAVE TO GET MY NAME RIGHT.

>> THANK YOU, TOUCH CHAI.

>> I'M THINKING ABOUT IT, BUT IT'S TOO EARLY TO MAKE A DECISION.

>> DOES IT INFLUENCE YOU AT ALL THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE'S RUNNING AGAIN. DOES THAT INFLUENCE YOUR DECISION IN ANY WAY?

>> NO, IT DOESN'T. WHAT WOULD INFLUENCE MY DECISION WOULD BE A VARIETY OF PERSONAL FACTORS AND PROFESSIONAL FACTORS, AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THE ISSUES THAT I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT ARE THE ISSUES OF HELPING PEOPLE THAT WE SEEM TO MARGINALIZE IN THE STATE, THOSE THAT SUFFER FROM ADDICTION, MENTAL ILLNESS, FIND THEMSELVES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THOSE THAT LIVE IN POVERTY AND I THINK THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL CAN TRULY TRANSFORM PEOPLE'S LIVES IN THIS STATE BECAUSE IT'S THE ONE OFFICE THAT HAS STATEWIDE JURISDICTION AND TOUCHES ALL THESE ISSUES.

>> GASEED ON WHAT YOU'RE SAYING -- BASED ON WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, YOU LOST BY SEVERAL HUNDRED VOTES, TAKING ON AN OPPONENT IN YOUR OWN PARTY, WHY WOULDN'T YOU RUN AGAIN?

>> I'M JUST LOOKING AT THE FOLIAGE OUT THERE, KRISTEN, ENJOYING VERMONT AND ENJOYING MY JOB AND IF IT'S THE RIGHT DECISION TO MAKE, YOU KNOW, I'M GOING TO MAKE THE APPROPRIATE DECISION.

>> WHAT DID YOU LEARN LAST TIME?

>> YOU KNOW WHAT I LEARNED LAST TIME? IS THAT PEOPLE REALLY ARE LOOKING FOR LEADERSHIP ON THESE ISSUES. I LEARNED THAT WE HAVE A GREAT STATE, THAT PEOPLE TRULY CARE ABOUT THEIR FELLOW NEIGHBORS AND PEOPLE IN NEED DESERVE A CHANCE.

>> WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. CHITTENDEN COUNTY TAKEN T.J. DONOVAN. WE'LL STAY TUNED ON THAT DECISION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU AT HOME FOR WATCHING, EVERYBODY. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY. CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

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