Some 205 Vermont inmates remain on lockdown in a Kentucky prison after violence in the facility. Now, Vermont's Corrections Commissioner is investigating if gang activity is to blame.
Commissioner Andy Pallito says there have been four physical assaults between Vermont inmates at the Lee Adjustment Center in Kentucky since the summer. The facility is run by the Corrections Corporation of America. Pallito says prison officials there have come up with a plan to curb future violence. Still, the commissioner is sending a team from Vermont to Kentucky next week to inspect the facility and make sure the safety plan is being carried out.
"We have some idea of what's going on," Pallito said. "We think it has to do with some of the gangs that are starting to pop up in Vermont, that are coming in and out, we believe, on some of the drug trade from other states surrounding Vermont. But that's all anecdotal at this point. We need to drill down to see what behind the three or four assaults that I mentioned and then work backward from there."
The Vermont corrections team will be in Kentucky for a few weeks reviewing staffing levels and training. Pallito is banking on inmates cooperating with the investigation to determine who is instigating the violence and why. Some 460 Vermont inmates are serving time at the Kentucky prison.