Meg McCarthy

Criminal justice policy should balance the interests of the whole community

I read with interest Peter Galbraith's Viewpoint advising the next governor on steps to increase economic justice in Vermont. I was disappointed that he did not mention one more factor that should be considered: that of criminal-justice reform.

It's true that Vermont doesn't incarcerate as many people as other U.S. states - say, Louisiana, Mississippi, or Oklahoma - but our incarceration rate, per capita, surpasses those of Colombia, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates, to name a few (source: prisonpolicy.org/global).

But what does this have to do with economic justice?

Every day a person spends in prison is a day that this person costs taxpayers money. Every day, this person is not earning money, paying income tax, supporting a family.

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Support for an innovative solution

Bravo to Sheriff Keith Clark for searching for an innovative solution to our justice challenges. I particularly support the educational components proposed for this project. People at this meeting expressed concern for the safety of their community. Educating former inmates and helping them grow the skills necessary for a...

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Time to bring our prisoners closer to home

Vermont sends prisoners to for-profit prisons in Kentucky, a policy that undermines family support and a prisoner’s successful re-entry. It’s in everyone’s interest to look at alternatives that work better.

It's frightening when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. When that loved one is almost a thousand miles away, in a for-profit prison in Kentucky, the feelings of terror and helplessness are multiplied. And it's exactly what happened to me in July of this year. My husband, Richard,

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