The Vermont Department of Corrections will provide funding for 15 agencies that will create 274 housing units to help people transition from prison to the community.
“We are promoting the opportunity for individuals – under correction supervision – to develop the life skills and tenancy record and investment in community life,” said Derek Miodownik, DOC’s Community and Restorative Justice Executive.
For the first time, the DOC is expanding transitional housing in Lamoille and Orange counties. Miodownik says they plan to spend $5.8 million to shift away from group housing and prioritize what they call “scattered sites.”
“Essentially, individuals apartments, where there are not multiple people living under that roof,” he said.
He says, the DOC previously invested more in group settings. However, it didn’t yield the best results.
“We experienced, unfortunately, a higher percentage of individuals who did not successfully exit those congregate programs,” said Miodownik.
According to the Council of State Governments, nearly 80 percent of all prison admissions between 2017 to 2019 were for violating the terms of release.
Communications Director Maria Moore with housing program Pathways Vermont wrote, “Independent housing and supportive services are key in preventing recidivism and promoting community integration. Pathways Vermont has been awarded funding to provide 4 beds in Lamoille County.”
Pathways Vermont has field offices in Barre, Morrisville, Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Middlebury, Rutland, St. Albans, and Springfield. More partner organizations can be found the DOC website.
Miodownick says this year, nearly 80 percent of their housing partners offer scattered sites.
“It really is the opportunity to live in as de-institutionalized a setting as possible – consistent with public safety – with the benefit of clinical supports, coaching, and other necessary skills to hopefully optimize the likelihood of that individuals success,” said Miodownik.