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Vermont reform group urges state to reduce prison population - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont reform group urges state to reduce prison population

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Does Vermont put too many people in prison? One group says yes and there is something the state can do to reduce those numbers.

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform rolled out a proposal that includes, in part, a call to remove the requirement for housing approval by the Department of Corrections for prisoners scheduled for release who cannot find a place to stay. And they want to see an increase in parole eligibility or compassionate release for older inmates.

"We have a number of people across the state who are incarcerated unnecessarily. There's no public safety reason for them to be in jail because we have some pressure now particularly on the system because Vermont is getting out of this private prison contract that expires June 15th. We could do some of the things that we should have been doing anyway to reduce the numbers and release and people who do not need to be in jail," said Suzi Wizowaty of Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform.

The group is calling for eliminating monetary bail to avoid discrimination against people who can't afford it and for an increase in restorative justice programs.

We also spoke with Maghon Luman, a formally incarcerated woman. Watch the video for the full interview with Luman and Wizowaty.

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