ACLU report lays out strategies for decreasing prison population

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) A report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont has laid out strategies for cutting the state's prison population in half.

The Bennington Banner reports the "Blueprint for Smart Justice," was issued by the group Tuesday.

The report found Vermont prisons have some of the nation's highest racial disparities, with black people making up 8% of correctional facility admissions and just 1% of the state's adult population.

It found that two of every three prison admissions are for violations of probation, parole and furlough.

The report calls for drug decriminalization; expanded incarceration alternatives; investment in mental health and substance-abuse treatment; and reforming bail, sentencing, and parole systems.

The report cited Vermont as the only state out of 50 surveyed that didn't provide enough data for researchers to predict the impact of reforms.

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