Department of Corrections to address inequality in prisons

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 12:04 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) New efforts by the department of corrections to address inequality in the prison system.

The newly-created Office of Professional Standards will report directly to the corrections commissioner.

Its goal is to create equity, fairness, impartiality in hiring, supervision, and treatment inside the state's correctional facilities.

That includes things like hiring a more diverse staff and making sure people are treated equally in the corrections system.

Vt. Corrections Commissioner James Baker told WCAX it's a big step forward for them.

"Anybody that's in the criminal justice system no matter where you sit now if you're not taking a serious look at the way you're operating from the lens of equity, you're making a big mistake," Baker said.

They'll be getting help from advisors, including Tabitha Moore, the head of the Rutland NAACP, and Curtis Reed, the executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity.

They’ll model some of their work on the Vermont State Police’s Fair and Impartial Policing committee.