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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 28: Public Institutions and Corrections

Chapter 011: SUPERVISION OF ADULT INMATES AT THE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

  • Subchapter 001: COMMITMENT, TRANSFER AND DISCHARGE
  • § 701. Commitment to the custody of the Commissioner

    (a) When a person is convicted of an offense and the court commits him or her to a term of imprisonment, the commitment shall be to the custody of the Commissioner.

    (b) The Commissioner shall have the authority to designate the place of confinement where the sentence shall be served.

    (c) Whenever in this title or in any other law reference is made to the sentencing or confinement of inmates to any correctional facility under authority of the Department, such reference shall be construed to mean sentencing or confinement to the custody of the Commissioner rather than to any particular facility of the Department.

    (d) The sentence of imprisonment of any person convicted of an offense shall commence to run from the date on which such person is received at a correctional facility. If any such person shall be committed to a jail or other place of detention to await transportation to the place in which his or her sentence is to be served, his or her sentence shall commence to run from the date on which he or she is received at such jail or other place of detention. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 701a. Segregation of inmates with a serious functional impairment

    (a) The Commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 regarding the classification, treatment, and segregation of an inmate with a serious functional impairment as defined and identified under subchapter 6 of this chapter; provided that the length of stay in segregation for an inmate with a serious functional impairment:

    (1) Shall not exceed 15 days if the inmate is segregated for disciplinary reasons.

    (2) Shall not exceed 30 days if the inmate requested the segregation, except that the inmate may remain segregated for successive 30-day periods following assessment by a qualified mental health professional and approval of a physician for each extension.

    (3) Shall not exceed 30 days if the inmate is segregated for any reason other than the reasons set forth in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, except that the inmate may remain segregated for successive 30-day periods following a due process hearing for each extension, which shall include assessment by a qualified mental health professional and approval of a physician.

    (b) As used in this section, "segregation" shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 3(12) of this title.

    (c) On or before the 15th day of each month, the Department's Health Services Director shall provide to the Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee a report that, while protecting inmate confidentiality, lists each inmate who was in segregation during the preceding month by a unique indicator and identifies the reason the inmate was placed in segregation, the length of the inmate's stay in segregation, whether the inmate has a serious functional impairment. The report shall also indicate any incident of self harm or attempted suicide by inmates in segregation. The Department shall ensure that a copy of the report is forwarded to the Vermont Defender General and the Executive Director of Vermont Protection and Advocacy, Inc. on a monthly basis. At the request of the Committee, the Director shall also provide information about the nature of the functional impairments of inmates placed in segregation or services provided to these inmates. In addition, at least annually, the Department shall provide a report on all inmates placed in segregation who were receiving mental health services. (Added 1995, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 48, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 2001, No. 61, § 82, eff. June 16, 2001; 2005, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2009, No. 26, § 1; 2017, No. 78, § 4.)

  • § 701b. Classification of persons or defendants

    (a) When a defendant or person in a civil or criminal action is sentenced to the custody of the Commissioner or committed to the Commissioner's custody pending a prosecution on a misdemeanor charge or for sentencing, the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee shall within five days of sentencing or commitment, excluding weekends and holidays, classify the person to determine whether he or she shall be incarcerated, held at a community work camp, or furloughed. Failure to classify within the five-day period shall not create a private right of action against the State, its political subdivisions, or its employees.

    (b) Notwithstanding 13 V.S.A. § 7554, the Commissioner may place on furlough under provisions of section 808 of this title, a misdemeanor defendant when the Commissioner, based upon a completed classification, has determined that the defendant is likely to appear in court as directed. If the Commissioner places such a defendant on furlough, the Commissioner shall impose not only the conditions of release initially ordered by the judicial officer, but also such additional terms or conditions deemed necessary to ensure that the defendant will appear in court. The Commissioner shall supervise compliance with all such conditions imposed. (Added 1995, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 49, eff. May 22, 1996; 2009, No. 33, § 50.)

  • § 702. Transfer between facilities of the Department

    (a) The Commissioner may transfer any inmate committed to his or her custody between any of the correctional facilities except that the Commissioner shall not have the authority to transfer a child, as defined in this title, to any facility except in accordance with 33 V.S.A. § 5293.

    (b) The Commissioner shall have the authority to transfer a person under arrest and charged with any offense, or convicted but not yet sentenced, from the correctional facility at which the person is detained to any other facility if the Commissioner determines that the person cannot be kept properly or safely at the correctional facility at which he or she is detained. If the Commissioner determines that such person has manifested a mental illness requiring treatment, the Commissioner shall have the authority to initiate transfer proceedings pursuant to section 703 of this title. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1987, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 131, eff. May 20, 2014.)

  • § 703. Transfer to the Department of Mental Health

    (a) If it becomes necessary to transfer a person who is under the supervision of the Department of Mental Health, the transfer shall be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of part 8 of Title 18.

    (b) When a person is so transferred, he or she shall be subject to the supervision of the Commissioner of Mental Health except that the time during which the person is in the custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health shall be computed as part of the term for which he or she was sentenced. He or she shall continue to be eligible for good behavior reductions pursuant to section 811 of this title, and he or she shall continue to be eligible for parole pursuant to chapter 7 of this title. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1989, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 15, § 22.)

  • § 704. Disposition when person recovers

    When the Commissioner of Mental Health determines that a person whose sentence has not expired no longer requires to be under the supervision of the Department of Mental Health, the Commissioner shall return the person to the custody of the Commissioner in accordance with 18 V.S.A. chapter 189. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1989, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 15, § 22.)

  • § 705. Hospitalization upon expiration of sentence

    If it is determined by the Commissioner of Mental Health that a person who has been transferred by the Commissioner to the Department of Mental Health is in need of further care and treatment after the expiration of his or her maximum sentence, the Commissioner of Mental Health shall petition the Criminal Division of the Superior Court for recommitment of the inmate to the custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health. This action by the Commissioner of Mental Health shall be initiated before the expiration of the maximum sentence. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1973, No. 48, § 4; 1977, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1989, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 15, § 22; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 706. Transfer to federal correctional facility

    (a) The Commissioner may enter into and execute a contract or contracts with the United States for the transfer of any inmate from any facility to a federal correctional facility when, in his or her opinion, the inmate needs particular treatment or special facilities available at the federal correctional facility; or, all in-state treatment and rehabilitative programs available for the inmate have been considered and found unsuitable; or, all in-state security and custody alternatives for the inmate have been considered and found unsuitable; or, the inmate voluntarily requests transfer.

    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an inmate transferred to a federal correctional facility shall, unless otherwise agreed in a contract or contracts, be subject to the same law, rules, regulations, and procedures applicable to inmates committed for violations of laws of the United States, not inconsistent with the sentence imposed. Such laws, rules, regulations, and procedures applicable to Vermont prisoners confined outside Vermont may include matters of discipline, classification, segregation, visiting, mail, clothing or dress, use of telephones, personal property, employment, work release, furlough, and transfer. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1975, No. 21, § 1, eff. March 31, 1975.)

  • § 707. Confinement of persons convicted by U.S. courts

    (a) The Department shall have the authority, on such terms and conditions as it may prescribe, to receive into custody any person ordered detained or convicted by any court of the United States. Any person against whom such sentence is rendered, while he or she is confined at any such facility, shall be subject to the same rules and discipline to which other inmates are subjected.

    (b) All payments received from the United States for the confinement of such persons referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall be made to the State Treasurer. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1973, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 708. Discharge

    (a) An inmate shall be released from confinement at the expiration of his or her term of sentence less the time deducted for good behavior.

    (b) When an inmate is released from a correctional facility, either on parole or upon final discharge from the custody of the Commissioner, he or she shall be returned any personal possessions taken from him or her upon his or her commitment, and he or she may be furnished with transportation to the place where he or she will reside, any earnings set aside for him or her in a wage fund or other program or fund and any additional sum of money as may be prescribed by the Commissioner to enable the inmate to meet his or her immediate needs.

    (c) If an inmate's release date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the inmate may be released at the discretion of the supervising officer on the next preceding day that is not a legal holiday or a weekend. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1979, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 709. Repealed. 1979, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.

  • § 710. Approval of residence

    (a) Before approving a residence for a sex offender who is being released from confinement or whom the court has released on a probationary sentence or an alternative sentence under community supervision by the Department, the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee shall give careful consideration to the proximity of the residence to any risk group associated with the offender.

    (b) For purposes of this section, "sex offender" shall have the same meaning as in 13 V.S.A. § 5401(10)(B). (Added 2005, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 30, eff. May 26, 2006.)


  • Subchapter 001A: OFFENDER REINTEGRATION
  • § 721. Offender reintegration; State policy

    The Department shall establish an offender reintegration process that requires offenders to be held accountable to their victims and the community. This process shall provide opportunities for victims of crime and other members of the community to participate in reentry programs under section 2a of this title and to allow for victims and members of the communities to provide input to the Department as provided for in subsection 104(a) of this title. Such input shall include the nature of the planned supervision, the offender's work and education needs, the potential impact to the victim(s) of the offender's presence in the community, and the opportunities to make use of the offender's abilities within the community. An offender who participates in the reintegration process provided for in this subchapter may be placed in the community under the Department's supervision for the remainder of the sentence if the Department is satisfied that the offender is demonstrating progress in his or her reentry programs and that the offender does not present an unreasonable risk to his or her victims or to the community at large. (Added 2001, No. 61, § 89; amended 2001, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 170c, eff. June 16, 2002.)

  • § 722. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Conditional reentry" means the process by which a sentenced offender is released into a community for supervision while participating in programs that assist the reintegration process. The offender's ability to remain in the community under supervision is conditioned on the offender's progress in reentry programs.

    (2) "Listed crime" means any offense identified in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7).

    (3) "Total effective sentence" means the sentence imposed under 13 V.S.A. §§ 7031 and 7032 as calculated by the Department in the offender's records.

    (4) "Unlisted crime" means any offense that is a crime under Vermont law, but is not identified in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7). (Added 2001, No. 61, § 89, eff. June 16, 2001.)

  • § 723. Conditional reentry

    (a) When a sentenced offender has served the minimum term of the total effective sentence, the Department may release the offender from a correctional facility under section 808 of this title for the offender to participate in a reentry program while serving the remaining sentence in the community.

    (b) The offender's continued supervision in the community is conditioned on the offender's commitment to and satisfactory progress in his or her reentry program and on the offender's compliance with any terms and conditions identified by the Department.

    (c) Prior to release under this section, the Department shall screen and, if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan. The Department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. (Added 2001, No. 61, § 89, eff. June 16, 2001; amended 2007, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 724. Terms and conditions of conditional reentry

    The Department shall identify in the terms and conditions of conditional reentry those programs necessary to reduce the offender's risk of reoffense and to promote the offender's accountability for progress in the reintegration process. (Added 2001, No. 61, § 89, eff. June 16, 2001.)

  • § 725. Parole hearing for offenders on conditional reentry

    The Department shall submit to the Parole Board a recommendation relative to whether the offender should be released to parole pursuant to section 502a of this title when:

    (1) an offender sentenced solely for the commission of one or more unlisted crimes has, in the sole discretion of the Department, successfully completed 90 days of supervision in a conditional reentry program; or

    (2) an offender sentenced for the commission of at least one or more listed crimes has, in the sole discretion of the Department, successfully completed 180 days of supervision in a conditional reentry program. (Added 2001, No. 61, § 89, eff. June 16, 2001.)

  • § 726. Reduction of sentence

    Each day an offender is supervised in a conditional reentry program shall be counted as one day served for the total effective sentence. (Added 2001, No. 61, § 89, eff. June 16, 2001; amended 2005, No. 87 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Feb. 8, 2006.)


  • Subchapter 002: EMPLOYMENT OF INMATES
  • § 751. Repealed. 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 56, eff. May 24, 2000.

  • § 751a. Definitions

    For purposes of this subchapter:

    (1) "Assembled product" means a good produced by combining articles or components where none of the articles or components were fabricated, changed, or altered by the use of offender labor.

    (2) "Offender service labor" means the use of offender labor for projects such as brush clearing, painting, repairing, and construction.

    (3) "Offender work product" means a good fabricated by inmate labor in whole or in part from raw or prepared materials, so as to impart to those materials new forms, qualities, or properties. (Added 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 57, eff. May 24, 2000.)

  • § 751b. General provisions governing offender work

    (a) To return value to communities, to assist victims of crime, to establish good habits of work and responsibility, to promote the vocational training of offenders, to pursue initiatives with private business to enhance offender employment opportunities, and to reduce the cost of operation of the Department of Corrections and of other State agencies, offenders may be employed in the production and delivery of goods, services, and foodstuffs to communities, to victims of crime, to correctional facilities, to other State agencies, and to other public or private entities authorized by this subchapter. To accomplish these purposes, the Commissioner may establish and maintain industries, farms, and institutional work programs at appropriate correctional facilities or other locations, plus community service work programs throughout the State.

    (b) No offender shall be required to engage in unreasonable labor, and no offender shall be required to perform any work for which he or she is declared unfit by a physician employed or retained by the Department.

    (c) The Commissioner shall establish written guidelines governing the hours and conditions of offender work, and the rates of compensation of offenders for employment. Wage payments of offenders shall be set aside in a separate fund. The guidelines of the Department may provide for the making of deductions from wages of offenders to defray part or all of the cost of offender maintenance or payments to victims of crime. The guidelines may also provide for the setting aside by the Department of a portion of an offender's wages to enable the offender to contribute to the support of his or her dependents, if any, to make necessary purchases from a commissary, to purchase approved books, instruments, and instruction not supplied by a correctional facility, and to set aside sums to be paid to the offender upon release from the custody or supervision of the Commissioner. Any interest that accrues from these wages during the period of such custody of an offender shall be credited to any fund maintained by the correctional facility for the welfare of offenders.

    (d) The labor, work product, or time of an offender may be sold, contracted, or hired out by the State only:

    (1) To the federal government.

    (2) To any state or political subdivision of a state, or to any nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal or state income taxation, subject to federal law, to the laws of the recipient state and to the rules of the Department. Five members of the Offender Work Programs Board at a scheduled and warned Board meeting may vote to disapprove any future sales of offender produced goods or services to any nonprofit organization and such vote shall be binding on the Department.

    (3) To any private person or enterprise not involving the provision of the federally authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program, provided that the Offender Work Programs Board shall first determine that the offender work product in question is not otherwise produced or available within the State. Five members of the such Board at a scheduled and warned Board meeting may vote to disapprove any future sales of offender produced goods or services to any person or entity not involving the provisions of the federally authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program and such vote shall be binding on the Department.

    (4) To charitable organizations where the offender work product is the handicraft of offenders and the Commissioner has approved such sales in advance.

    (5) To political subdivisions of the State, community organizations, private persons, or enterprises when the Governor has authorized the work of offenders as necessary and appropriate as a response to a civil emergency.

    (e) Offender work programs managers shall seek to offset production, service, and related costs from product and service sales; however, this financial objective of offsetting the costs to the Department of servicing and supervising offender work programs shall not be pursued to the detriment of accomplishing the purposes of offender work programs set out in subsection (a) of this section or to the detriment of private businesses as safeguarded by section 761 of this title.

    (f) The Department of Corrections shall, in any new initiative involving sales of offender work products, seek to use the provisions of the federally authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program.

    (g) Assembled products shall not be sold to any person, enterprise, or entity unless the Offender Work Programs Board has first reviewed any such proposed sale, and five members of the Board have voted in favor of the proposal at a scheduled and warned meeting of the Board.

    (h) The Commissioner shall consult and collaborate with the Commissioner of Labor at least annually to seek funding and support for vocational training for offenders to help offenders achieve a successful transition from the custody of the Commissioner to private life. To the extent feasible, any vocational training program for offenders shall incorporate the professional training standards applicable to the construction and other trades, and industries, existing in the private sector. (Added 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 58, eff. May 24, 2000; amended 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006; 2009, No. 33, § 51.)

  • § 752. Offender Work Programs Special Fund

    (a) An Offender Work Programs Special Fund shall be maintained for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of section 751b of this title, which Fund shall include any appropriations made from time to time by the State Legislature and any sums obtained from the sale of goods and services produced by offenders pursuant to section 751b of this title. The Special Fund shall be managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5.

    (b) Any expenses incurred by offender work programs and the Offender Work Programs Board shall be defrayed by this Fund.

    (c) All balances of the Fund remaining at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and be made available for the succeeding fiscal year, and shall be kept as a special fund by the State Treasurer, except that any balance at the end of a fiscal year not needed to maintain offender work programs or for other purposes provided by section 751b or 761 of this title shall by September 1 of the subsequent fiscal year be transferred to the Victims' Compensation Fund established under 13 V.S.A. chapter 167.

    (d) The Fund also may be used, at the discretion of the Commissioner, to further the raising, harvesting, and preservation of food.

    (e) Purchases of materials for resale may be made from the Fund, but the Fund shall be maintained intact except for temporary depletion in making such purchases for resale.

    (f) [Repealed.]  (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1997, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. May 24, 2000; 2009, No. 33, § 83(l)(1).)

  • § 753. Work release program

    (a) The Commissioner shall have the authority to permit any inmate of any correctional facility to be gainfully employed outside the facility when the employment is determined to be in the best interests of the inmate and of the State, and when the inmate volunteers to participate in any work release program making provisions for gainful employment. Inmates may be employed by the State or by public or private employers. The rates of pay and other conditions of employment for an inmate released under this section shall be the same as those paid or required in the locality in which the work is performed.

    (b) The Commissioner shall have the power and responsibility to make rules and regulations for the administration of any work release program authorized under this section.

    (c) The Commissioner, before allowing any inmate to participate in a work release program, shall determine that the employment of the inmate will not cause the displacement of employed workers.

    (d) A work release program may be extended to include the enrollment of an inmate in academic or vocational programs designed to improve the skills and abilities of the inmate.

    (e) The time during which an inmate participates in a work release program outside a correctional facility shall be tabulated toward the serving of his or her sentence in the same manner as though the inmate had served such time at the facility. The inmate shall remain subject to the rules and regulations of the facility and be under the direction and control of the officers thereof during the period of his or her participation in the program. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 754. Powers and responsibilities of the Department regarding the work release program

    The Department is charged with the following powers and responsibilities:

    (1) To supervise and consult with inmates participating in any work release program.

    (2) To assist in locating available employment or vocational or other training opportunities for qualified work release participants and to effect placement of the participants under any work release program.

    (3) To promote public understanding and acceptance of the work release program.

    (4) To foster cooperation of all State agencies with the Department in the administration of the work release program.

    (5) To provide cash advances in the nature of loans from the revolving fund established by section 752 of this title to participants in the work release program as are necessary to carry out the program. The Commissioner is authorized to seek all available remedies in any court of this State or any court of competent jurisdiction to obtain a judgment in the event that an inmate receiving a cash advance in accordance with this section defaults in the repayment of the cash advance. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 755. Disposition of earnings

    An inmate participating in a work release program shall cause to be given to the Commissioner the inmate's total earnings less payroll deductions authorized by law, including income taxes. Upon receipt of the earnings the Commissioner, to the extent reasonable, may:

    (1) Deduct an amount determined to be equivalent to the cost of providing for the living expenses of the inmate.

    (2) Cause to be paid, as are needed, any of the following.

    (A) Any costs or fine imposed by the sentencing court.

    (B) Any restitution included as part of the sentence of the inmate by the court.

    (C) Any sum as is needed for the support of the dependents of the inmate, in which case the Commissioner shall notify the Commissioner for Children and Families of the support payments.

    (D) Any loan which may have been issued to the inmate pursuant to subdivision 754(5) of this title.

    (E) Any restitution or reparation included as part of a disciplinary proceeding for damage to State-owned property. Any monies collected under this subdivision shall be used to offset the cost of repair or replacement of the damaged property.

    (3) Allow the inmate to draw from the balance of his or her earnings a sufficient sum to cover his or her incidental expenses.

    (4) Credit to the account of the inmate the amount as remains after deductions are made in accordance with the provisions of this section, paying to the inmate the balance of his or her account upon his or her release. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1977, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 57.)

  • § 756. Repealed. 1973, No. 109, § 12.

  • § 757. Inmate not an agent of the State

    No inmate participating in any work release program, or engaged in work, industry, or employment at a correctional facility, or any community service or a public works activity or vocational training at a correctional facility or in the community while under the supervision of officers, employees, volunteers, or contracted persons of the Department of Corrections shall be deemed to be a "volunteer" or "State employee" for any purpose whatsoever. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1993, No. 54, § 2.)

  • § 758. Release from a correctional facility to do work in the service of such facility or of the Department

    The supervising officer of any correctional facility may permit an inmate to leave the facility for the purpose of performing maintenance work or farm work, or any other work necessary, or appropriate for the maintenance, operations, or business of the facility or of the Department. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 759. Employment and furlough of an inmate during the pendency of prosecution

    (a) A person confined at a correctional facility during the pendency of a prosecution against him or her may request to be employed pursuant to the provisions of section 751 of this title. Upon receipt of the request, the supervising officer may so employ the inmate, subject to all the rules and regulations of section 751.

    (b) A person so confined may be allowed access to the work release and furlough programs pursuant to the provisions of sections 753 and 808 of this title with the consent of the prosecuting State's Attorney and the judge of the court in which the person is being prosecuted. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 760. Compensation of offenders

    (a) The Commissioner shall, in consultation with the Department of Labor, promulgate rules establishing an injured offender compensation program for offenders or their dependents for injuries suffered while under supervision by the Department and arising out of and in the course of work, industry, or an employment program, at a correctional facility, or any community service or public works activity or vocational training directed by the Department of Corrections. The rules shall establish the compensation, medical and vocational benefits to which an injured offender may be entitled as well as procedures for resolving disputes. To the extent practicable and consistent with the requirements of the Department, compensation, medical and vocational benefits shall be comparable to what a similarly injured employee would receive under 21 V.S.A. chapter 9.

    (b) The rights and remedies provided by this section and the rules adopted under authority of this section to an offender on account of a personal injury for which he or she is entitled to compensation under this section shall exclude all other rights and remedies of the offender, the offender's personal representation, dependents or next of kin, at common law, or otherwise on account of such injury.

    (c) For purposes of this section, the Department of Corrections shall be the sole entity responsible for providing any compensation owed to an injured offender, without regard to the place of injury, and no claim for workers' compensation or other common law action may be brought against the industry, employment program, government or community service entity, or vocational training provider either supervising the offender or receiving the benefit of the offender's services.

    (d) In no case shall compensation be made under subsection (a) of this section to any offender injured while participating in a work release program pursuant to section 753 of this title.

    (e) Any compensation which is fixed in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Ccommissioner may be paid either in periodic installments or in lump sum. The compensation may be drawn from the revolving fund established by section 752 of this title, from any general fund maintained by the Department, or from any approved source.

    (f) A claimant may seek review of the Department's decision relative to an award of compensation by petitioning a Superior Court under Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1993, No. 54, § 3; 1997, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 69, eff. April 29, 1998; 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006.)

  • § 761. Offender Work Programs Board

    (a) Offender Work Programs Board established. An Offender Work Programs Board is established for the purpose of advising the Commissioner on the use of offender labor for the public good. The Board shall base its considerations and recommendations to the Commissioner on a review of plans for offender work programs pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and on other information as it deems appropriate.

    (1) The Board shall consist of nine members, each appointed by the Governor for a three-year term or until a successor is appointed, as follows:

    (A) four representatives of customers of the products and services of offender work programs, two of whom shall represent public sector customers, and two of whom shall represent private nonprofit organization customers;

    (B) three representatives of private business organizations;

    (C) one representative of labor or labor organizations; and

    (D) one at-large member.

    (2) The Governor shall appoint a chair and vice chair, each of whom shall serve for one year or until a successor is appointed.

    (3) [Repealed.]

    (4) The Board may, with the Commissioner's approval of funds, hire by contract such persons the Board deems necessary to provide it with administrative and staff support.

    (5) All Board members shall be reimbursed from the special fund established by section 752 of this title for per diem and expenses incurred in the performance of their duties pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

    (b) Review of the annual report and two-year plan. In reviewing the annual report and two-year plan submitted by the Director of Offender Work Programs as required by subsection 751b(f) of this title, and forming its recommendations concerning them to the Commissioner, the Board shall:

    (1) Assure itself that the plan is informed by thorough and accurate analysis of private business activity in the specific market segments concerned, for which purpose the Board may, with the Commissioner's approval of funds, hire by contract such persons the Board deems necessary to assist it in analyzing the plan. The Board shall also conduct public hearings to hear from members of the public or from potentially affected private businesses and labor groups.

    (2) [Repealed.]

    (3) Make publicly known and available its recommendations for offender work programs operations.

    (c) Offender work programs expansion. The Vermont Correctional Industries component of the offender work programs shall not expand into an existing market until the Commissioner has done all of the following:

    (1) Evaluated the impact of expansion on private sector business.

    (2) Notified the Offender Work Programs Board of the proposal.

    (3) Obtained the Board's written suggestions, comments, and recommendations concerning the proposal. Five members of the Board at a scheduled and warned Board meeting may vote to disapprove any proposed expansion not involving the provisions of the federally authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program, and such vote shall be binding on the Department. (Added 1997, No. 62, § 44, eff. June 26, 1997; amended 1997, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 60, eff. May 24, 2000; 2009, No. 33, § 52; 2009, No. 67 (Adj. Sess.), § 96, eff. Feb. 25, 2010.)


  • Subchapter 003: CARE OF INMATES
  • § 801. Medical care of inmates

    (a) The Department shall provide health care for inmates in accordance with the prevailing medical standards. When the provision of such care requires that the inmate be taken outside the boundaries of the correctional facility wherein the inmate is confined, the Department shall provide reasonable safeguards, when deemed necessary, for the custody of the inmate while he or she is confined at a medical facility.

    (b)(1) Upon admission to a correctional facility for a minimum of 14 consecutive days, each inmate shall be given a physical assessment unless extenuating circumstances exist.

    (2) Within 24 hours after admission to a correctional facility, each inmate shall be screened for substance use disorders as part of the initial and ongoing substance use screening and assessment process. This process includes screening and assessment for opioid use disorders.

    (c) When there is reason to believe an inmate is in need of medical care, the officers and employees shall render emergency first aid and immediately secure additional medical care for the inmate in accordance with the standards set forth in subsection (a) of this section. A correctional facility shall have on staff at all times at least one person trained in emergency first aid.

    (d) The Department shall establish and maintain policies for the delivery of health care in accordance with the standards in subsection (a) of this section.

    (e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an inmate who is admitted to a correctional facility while under the medical care of a licensed physician, a licensed physician assistant, or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse and who is taking medication at the time of admission pursuant to a valid prescription as verified by the inmate's pharmacy of record, primary care provider, other licensed care provider, or as verified by the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System or other prescription monitoring or information system, including buprenorphine, methadone, or other medication prescribed in the course of medication-assisted treatment, shall be entitled to continue that medication and to be provided that medication by the Department pending an evaluation by a licensed physician, a licensed physician assistant, or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse.

    (2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Department may defer provision of a validly prescribed medication in accordance with this subsection if, in the clinical judgment of a licensed physician, a physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse, it is not medically necessary to continue the medication at that time.

    (3) The licensed practitioner who makes the clinical judgment to discontinue a medication shall cause the reason for the discontinuance to be entered into the inmate's medical record, specifically stating the reason for the discontinuance. The inmate shall be provided, both orally and in writing, with a specific explanation of the decision to discontinue the medication and with notice of the right to have his or her community-based prescriber notified of the decision. If the inmate provides signed authorization, the Department shall notify the community-based prescriber in writing of the decision to discontinue the medication.

    (4) It is not the intent of the General Assembly that this subsection shall create a new or additional private right of action.

    (5) As used in this subchapter:

    (A) "Medically necessary" describes health care services that are appropriate in terms of type, amount, frequency, level, setting, and duration to the individual's diagnosis or condition, are informed by generally accepted medical or scientific evidence, and are consistent with generally accepted practice parameters. Such services shall be informed by the unique needs of each individual and each presenting situation, and shall include a determination that a service is needed to achieve proper growth and development or to prevent the onset or worsening of a health condition.

    (B) "Medication-assisted treatment" shall have the same meaning as in 18 V.S.A. § 4750.

    (f) Any contract between the Department and a provider of physical or mental health services shall establish policies and procedures for continuation and provision of medication at the time of admission and thereafter, as determined by an appropriate evaluation, which will protect the mental and physical health of inmates. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1985, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2013, No. 34, § 30a; 2017, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 21, 2018; 2017, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 801a. Pregnant inmates

    (a) It shall be the policy of the State of Vermont to respect the unique health issues associated with a pregnant inmate. The Department of Corrections shall not routinely restrain pregnant inmates who are beyond their first trimester of pregnancy in the same manner as other inmates, recognizing that to do so might pose undue health risks for the mother and unborn child.

    (b) The Commissioner of Corrections shall ensure that all reasonable and appropriate measures consistent with public safety are made to transport a pregnant inmate in a manner that:

    (1) prevents physical and psychological trauma;

    (2) respects the privacy of the individual; and

    (3) represents the least restrictive means necessary for the safety of the inmate, medical and correctional personnel, and the public.

    (c) Unless the inmate presents a substantial flight risk or other extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise, mechanical restraints of any kind shall not be used on a pregnant inmate after she has been declared by an attending health care practitioner to be in active labor. The inmate shall remain unrestrained after delivery while in recovery at the hospital. If restraints are used while the inmate is in labor or in the hospital during recovery after delivery, the Commissioner of Corrections shall make written findings as to the reasons why mechanical restraints were necessary to prevent escape or to ensure the safety of the inmate, medical and correctional personnel, or the public. (Added 2005, No. 180 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 801b. Medication-assisted treatment in correctional facilities

    (a) If an inmate receiving medication-assisted treatment prior to entering the correctional facility continues to receive medication prescribed in the course of medication-assisted treatment pursuant to section 801 of this title, the inmate shall be authorized to receive that medication for as long as medically necessary.

    (b)(1) If at any time an inmate screens positive as having an opioid use disorder, the inmate may elect to commence buprenorphine-specific medication-assisted treatment if it is deemed medically necessary by a provider authorized to prescribe buprenorphine. The inmate shall be authorized to receive the medication as soon as possible and for as long as medically necessary.

    (2) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent an inmate who commences medication-assisted treatment while in a correctional facility from transferring from buprenorphine to methadone if:

    (A) methadone is deemed medically necessary by a provider authorized to prescribe methadone; and

    (B) the inmate elects to commence methadone as recommended by a provider authorized to prescribe methadone.

    (c) The licensed practitioner who makes the clinical judgment to discontinue a medication shall cause the reason for the discontinuance to be entered into the inmate's medical record, specifically stating the reason for the discontinuance. The inmate shall be provided, both orally and in writing, with a specific explanation of the decision to discontinue the medication and with notice of the right to have his or her community-based prescriber notified of the decision. If the inmate provides signed authorization, the Department shall notify the community-based prescriber in writing of the decision to discontinue the medication.

    (d)(1) As part of reentry planning, the Department shall commence medication-assisted treatment prior to an inmate's release if:

    (A) the inmate screens positive for an opioid use disorder;

    (B) medication-assisted treatment is medically necessary; and

    (C) the inmate elects to commence medication-assisted treatment.

    (2) If medication-assisted treatment is indicated and despite best efforts induction is not possible prior to release, the Department shall ensure comprehensive care coordination with a community-based provider.

    (e) Counseling or behavioral therapies shall be provided in conjunction with the use of medication for medication-assisted treatment as provided for in the Department of Health's "Rule Governing Medication-Assisted Therapy for Opioid Dependence for: (1) Office-Based Opioid Treatment Providers Prescribing Buprenorphine; and (2) Opioid Treatment Providers."  (Added 2017, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2019, No. 72, § E.338.2.)

  • § 802. Correspondence of inmates

    (a) Any authorized employee of any correctional facility shall have the right to inspect all correspondence by or to inmates of the facility. The employee shall have the right to withhold and prevent the transmission of material intended to be sent through the mails by or to an inmate if the material is contraband as defined by the rules of the facility or constitutes a clear and present danger to the security of the facility.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any correspondence from an inmate to any public official of the State or of the United States shall not be impeded in its transmission, nor shall it be inspected, opened, copied, duplicated, photographed, or examined in any way.

    (c) An inmate shall not correspond through the mail with another inmate committed to the custody and supervision of the Department of Corrections, whether in the same facility or in a different facility, except as follows:

    (1) To communicate with immediate family members who are inmates also in the custody and supervision of the Department of Corrections, subject to the prior approval of the superintendent or the superintendent's designee.

    (2) To communicate with other inmates where the inmate's classification or treatment team deems the correspondence in the best interests of both parties.

    (3) To communicate with another inmate regarding legal matters, so long as the superintendent or his or her designee knows the second inmate customarily offers legal advice to other inmates.

    (4) To correspond with other inmates, so long as the correspondence has been approved by the superintendent or the superintendent's designee at his or her sole discretion.

    (d) Negative contact list.

    (1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an inmate incarcerated at a Department of Corrections facility shall not correspond through the mail with any individual on the Department of Corrections' negative contact list.

    (2) An individual may be added to the negative contact list by notifying the Department of Corrections in writing that he or she does not wish to receive any correspondence through the mail from a particular inmate.

    (3) A parent or authorized legal guardian of a minor may add the minor child to the negative contact list of any inmate who is not the parent of the child by notifying the Department of Corrections in writing that he or she does not wish the minor child to receive any correspondence through the mail from a particular inmate. If the inmate is a parent of the minor, the inmate shall have the right to have contact with the minor, unless the inmate is prohibited by court order from contacting the child. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 2007, No. 64, § 3.)

  • § 802a. Telephone use; debit and collect call systems

    (a) Upon admittance to a correctional facility, the inmate shall within 24 hours be allowed access to a telephone for outgoing telephone calls at the expense of the inmate.

    (b) An inmate shall be allowed easy access in placing collect telephone calls upon admission to a correctional facility under reasonable conditions determined by the Commissioner, unless the inmate has been prohibited under provisions of section 853 of this title regarding punishment for a breach of the rules and regulations of the correctional facility in which an inmate is confined.

    (c) When an inmate requests and receives a list of parties approved to receive telephone calls, the inmate shall be provided the option of using a debit or collect call system to place such calls. Under the debit system, the inmate shall pay for telephone service at the time of use, and the cost of such service will be automatically deducted from an account maintained by the inmate for that purpose.

    (d) Any contract to provide telephone services to inmates in State correctional facilities shall be negotiated and awarded in a manner that provides for the lowest reasonable cost to inmates, to their families, and to others communicating with inmates. (Added 1995, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 50, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 2001, No. 61, § 79, eff. June 16, 2001.)

  • § 803. Exercise of religious beliefs

    (a) An inmate at any correctional facility shall have the right of free exercise of his or her religious beliefs, and shall have the right to receive visitations from a clergyperson or other representative of his or her faith in case of illness, provided that a request for the visitation is submitted to the supervising officer of the facility. An inmate shall not be ordered or compelled to participate in any religious activities.

    (b) Such exercise of religious beliefs as is permitted by subsection (a) of this section may be restricted only upon a determination by the Commissioner that the exercise would interfere unreasonably with the maintenance of discipline and security at the correctional facility.

    (c) The supervising officer of any correctional facility shall have the authority to compensate any clergyperson selected by him or her to conduct visitations and carry out other services at the facility. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 804. Right of inmates to confer with counsel

    If an inmate in any facility expresses a desire to see and confer with a practicing attorney of the State, the supervising officer of the facility shall authorize, except in cases of imminent danger of injury to person or of escape, the admittance of the attorney to the facility. The inmate and his or her attorney shall have the right to confer alone and in private at the facility. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 805. Counsel for an inmate confined during the pendency of prosecution

    When a person is confined to a correctional facility during the pendency of a prosecution against him or her, such inmate shall be allowed conference with his or her counsel of record, which conferences may be held in the presence but not in the hearing of an officer or employee of the correctional facility. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 806. Allowances to inmates

    It shall be within the discretion of the Commissioner to authorize the payment of allowances, from funds appropriated by the Legislature, to inmates of any correctional facility for the purpose of allowing the inmates to purchase personal articles and to meet other incidental expenses. The Commissioner shall have the authority to establish rules and regulations governing the issuance and administration of the allowances. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 807. Voting rights

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is convicted of a crime shall retain the right to vote by early voter absentee ballot in a primary or general election at the person's last voluntary residence during the term of the person's commitment under a sentence of confinement provided the person otherwise fulfills all voting requirements.

    (b) No person sentenced to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections may use the place of involuntary confinement as the person's place of residence for the purpose of qualifying to vote. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1973, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 27, 1974; 2001, No. 6, § 12(a), eff. April 10, 2001.)

  • § 808. Furloughs granted to offenders

    (a) The Department may extend the limits of the place of confinement of an offender at any correctional facility if the offender agrees to comply with such conditions of supervision the Department, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate for that offender's furlough. The Department may authorize furlough for any of the following reasons:

    (1) To visit a critically ill relative.

    (2) To attend the funeral of a relative.

    (3) To obtain medical services.

    (4) To contact prospective employers.

    (5) To secure a suitable residence for use upon discharge.

    (6) To continue the process of reintegration initiated in a correctional facility. The offender may be placed in a program of conditional reentry status by the Department upon the offender's completion of the minimum term of sentence. While on conditional reentry status, the offender shall be required to participate in programs and activities that hold the offender accountable to victims and the community pursuant to section 2a of this title.

    (b) An offender granted a furlough pursuant to this section may be accompanied by an employee of the Department, in the discretion of the Commissioner, during the period of the offender's furlough. The Department may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on furlough.

    (c) The extension of the limits of the place of confinement authorized by this section shall in no way be interpreted as a probation or parole of the offender, but shall constitute solely a permitted extension of the limits of the place of confinement for offenders committed to the custody of the Commissioner.

    (d) When any enforcement officer, as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4, employee of the Department, or correctional officer responsible for supervising an offender believes the offender is in violation of any verbal or written condition of the furlough, the officer or employee may immediately lodge the offender at a correctional facility or orally or in writing deputize any law enforcement officer or agency to arrest and lodge the offender at such a facility. The officer or employee shall subsequently document the reason for taking such action.

    (e) The Commissioner may place on medical furlough any offender who is serving a sentence, including an offender who has not yet served the minimum term of the sentence, who is diagnosed with a terminal or serious medical condition so as to render the offender unlikely to be physically capable of presenting a danger to society. The Commissioner shall develop a policy regarding the application for, standards for eligibility of, and supervision of persons on medical furlough. The offender may be released to a hospital, hospice, other licensed inpatient facility, or other housing accommodation deemed suitable by the Commissioner. As used in this subsection, a "serious medical condition" does not mean a condition caused by noncompliance with a medical treatment plan.

    (f) While appropriate community housing is an important consideration in release of offenders, the Department shall not use lack of housing as the sole factor in denying furlough to offenders who have served at least their minimum sentence for a nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony provided that public safety and the best interests of the offender will be served by reentering the community on furlough. The Department shall adopt rules to implement this subsection.

    (g) Subsections (b)-(f) of this section shall also apply to sections 808a and 808c of this title. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1973, No. 48, § 6; 1973, No. 109, § 12; 1973, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1997, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1999, No. 29, § 55, eff. May 19, 1999; 2001, No. 61, § 88, eff. June 16, 2001; 2001, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 41, eff. June 27, 2002; 2005, No. 63, § 6; 2007, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 9, 10; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § D7; 2009, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 7, 8; 2011, No. 41, § 3; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 189; 2015, No. 43, § 3, eff. June 1, 2015; 2017, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 808a. Treatment furlough

    (a) An offender may be sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment, but placed by a court on treatment furlough to participate in such programs administered by the Department in the community that reduce the offender's risk to reoffend or that provide reparation to the community in the form of supervised work activities.

    (b) Provided the approval of the sentencing judge is first obtained, the Department may place on treatment furlough an offender who has not yet served the minimum term of the sentence, who, in the Department's determination, needs residential treatment services not available in a correctional facility. The services may include treatment for substance abuse or personal violence or any other condition that the Department has determined should be addressed in order to reduce the offender's risk to reoffend or cause harm to himself or herself or to others in the facility. The offender shall be released only to a hospital or residential treatment facility that provides services to the general population. The State's share of the cost of placement in such a facility, net of any private or federal participation, shall be paid pursuant to memoranda of agreement between and within State agencies reflective of their shared responsibilities to maximize the efficient and effective use of State resources. In the event that a memorandum of agreement cannot be reached, the Secretary of Administration shall make a final determination as to the manner in which costs will be allocated.

    (c)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the Department, in its own discretion, may place on treatment furlough an offender who has not yet served the minimum term of his or her sentence for an eligible misdemeanor as defined in section 808d of this title if the Department has made a determination based upon a risk assessment that the offender poses a low risk to public safety or victim safety and that employing an alternative to incarceration to hold the offender accountable is likely to reduce the risk of recidivism.

    (2) Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, second offense, as defined in 23 V.S.A. §§ 1201 and 1210(c) and boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, second offense, as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 3323 shall be considered eligible misdemeanors for the sole purpose of subdivision (1) of this subsection. (Added 2011, No. 41, § 3a; amended 2011, No. 41, § 3c, eff. April 1, 2013.)

  • § 808b. Home confinement furlough

    (a) An offender may be sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment, but placed by a court on home confinement furlough that restricts the defendant to a preapproved place of residence continuously, except for authorized absences. Home confinement furlough shall be enforced by appropriate means of supervision, including electronic monitoring and other conditions such as limitations on alcohol, visitors, and access to firearms imposed by the court or the Department, or both.

    (b) The Department, in its own discretion, may place on home confinement furlough an offender who has not yet served the minimum term of the sentence for an eligible misdemeanor as defined in section 808d of this title if the Department has made a determination based upon a risk assessment that the offender poses a low risk to public safety or victim safety and that employing an alternative to incarceration to hold the offender accountable is likely to reduce the risk of recidivism.

    (c) In determining whether a home confinement furlough sentence is appropriate and whether a place of residence is suitable for such a sentence, all of the following shall be considered:

    (1) The nature of the offense with which the defendant was charged and the nature of the offense of which the defendant was convicted.

    (2) The defendant's criminal history record, history of violence, medical and mental health needs, history of supervision, and risk of flight.

    (3) Any risk or undue burden to other persons who reside at the proposed residence or risk to third parties or to public safety that may result from such placement.

    (d)(1) A home confinement furlough shall not exceed a total of 180 days and shall require the defendant:

    (A) to remain at a preapproved residence at all times except for preapproved absences for work, school, treatment, attorney appointments, court appearances, and other obligations as the court may order; or

    (B) to remain at a preapproved residence 24 hours a day on lock-down status except for medical appointments and court appearances.

    (2) In cases involving offenders convicted of a listed crime, the defendant shall remain at a preapproved residence at all times except for preapproved absences for work, school, treatment, attorney appointments, court appearances, and other obligations as the court or Department may authorize. The day the absences are approved, the court or the Department shall provide a record to the prosecutor's office documenting the date, time, location, and purpose of the authorized absences. The authorized absences may commence no earlier than 24 hours following notification to the prosecutor's office. The Department may reschedule authorized absences only after providing 72 hours' advance notice to the prosecutor's office. In the case of a medical emergency, the notice required by this subdivision shall be provided as soon as practicable after the emergency.

    (e) [Repealed.]  (Added 2011, No. 41, § 3a; amended 2011, No. 41, § 3c, eff. April 1, 2013; 2015, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 808c. Reintegration furlough

    (a)(1) To prepare for reentry into the community, an offender sentenced to incarceration may be furloughed to the community up to 180 days prior to completion of the minimum sentence, at the Commissioner's discretion and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, an offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 365 days shall not be eligible for furlough under this subdivision until the offender has served at least one-half of his or her minimum term of incarceration.

    (2) An offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 365 days for an eligible misdemeanor as defined in section 808d of this title shall be eligible for furlough under this subdivision, provided the Department has made a determination based upon a risk assessment that the offender poses a low risk to public safety or victim safety and that employing an alternative to incarceration to hold the offender accountable is likely to reduce the risk of recidivism.

    (b) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, an offender sentenced to incarceration is eligible to earn five days toward reintegration furlough, to be applied prior to the expiration of the offender's minimum term, for each month served in the correctional facility during which the offender has complied with the case plan prepared pursuant to subsection 1(b) of this title and has obeyed all rules and regulations of the facility. Days shall be awarded only if the Commissioner determines, in his or her sole discretion, that they have been earned in accordance with rules adopted by the Department pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and shall in no event be awarded automatically. The Commissioner's determination shall be final. Days earned under this subsection may be awarded in addition to the reintegration furlough authorized in subsection (a) of this section. The Commissioner shall have the discretion to determine the frequency with which calculations under this subsection shall be made provided they are made at least as frequently as every six months.

    (c) The Commissioner may authorize reintegration furlough under subsections (a) and (b) of this section only if the days are awarded in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 designed to do the following:

    (1) Evaluate factors such as risk of reoffense, history of violent behavior, history of compliance with community supervision, compliance with the case plan, progress in treatment programs designed to reduce criminal risk, and obedience to rules and regulations of the facility.

    (2) Ensure adequate departmental supervision of the offender when furloughed into the community.

    (d) The Commissioner may not award days toward reintegration furlough under subsection (b) of this section if the offender is sentenced to a minimum term of incarceration in excess of five years or is incarcerated for a conviction of one or more of the following crimes:

    (1) arson causing death as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 501;

    (2) assault and robbery with a dangerous weapon as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 608(b);

    (3) assault and robbery causing bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 608(c);

    (4) aggravated assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1024;

    (5) murder as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2301;

    (6) manslaughter as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2304;

    (7) kidnapping as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2405;

    (8) unlawful restraint as defined in 13 V.S.A. §§ 2406 and 2407;

    (9) maiming as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2701;

    (10) sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3252(a)(1) or (2);

    (11) aggravated sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3253;

    (12) burglary into an occupied dwelling as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1201(c); or

    (13) lewd or lascivious conduct with a child as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2602.

    (e) An offender incarcerated for driving while under the influence of alcohol under 23 V.S.A. § 1210(d) or (e) may be furloughed to the community up to 180 days prior to completion of the minimum sentence at the Commissioner's discretion and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, provided that an offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 270 days shall not be eligible for furlough under this subsection until the offender has served at least 90 days of his or her minimum term of incarceration and provided that the Commissioner uses electronic equipment to monitor the offender's location and blood alcohol level continually, or other equipment such as an alcohol ignition interlock system, or both.

    (f) Prior to release under this section, the Department shall screen and, if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan. The Department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. (Added 2011, No. 41, § 3a; amended 2011, No. 41, § 3c, eff. April 1, 2013.)

  • § 808d. Definition; eligible misdemeanor; furlough at the discretion of the Department

    For purposes of sections 808a-808c of this title, "eligible misdemeanor" means a misdemeanor crime that is not one of the following crimes:

    (1) Cruelty to animals involving death or torture as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 352(1) and (2).

    (2) Simple assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1023(a)(1).

    (3) Simple assault with a deadly weapon as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1023(a)(2).

    (4) Simple assault of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical personnel member, or health care worker while he or she is performing a lawful duty as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1023(a)(1).

    (5) Reckless endangerment as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1025.

    (6) Simple assault of a correctional officer as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1028a(a)(1).

    (7) Simple assault of a correctional officer as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1028a(b).

    (8) Violation of an abuse prevention order, first offense, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1030.

    (9) Stalking as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1062.

    (10) Domestic assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1042.

    (11) Cruelty to children over 10 years of age by one over 16 years of age as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1304.

    (12) Cruelty by a person having custody of another as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1305.

    (13) Abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult as provided in 13 V.S.A. §§ 1376-1381.

    (14) Hate-motivated crime as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1455 or burning of a cross or other religious symbol as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1456.

    (15) Voyeurism as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2605.

    (16) Prohibited acts as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2632.

    (17) Obscenity as defined in 13 V.S.A. chapter 63.

    (18) Possession of child pornography as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2827.

    (19) Possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon in a school bus or school building as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 4004(a).

    (20) Possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon on school property with intent to injure as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 4004(b).

    (21) Possession of a firearm in court as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 4016(b)(1).

    (22) Possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon in court as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 4016(b)(2).

    (23) Failure to comply with the sex offender registry as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5409.

    (24) Careless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle resulting in serious bodily injury or death as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 1091(b).

    (25) Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, second offense, as defined in 23 V.S.A. §§ 1201 and 1210(c).

    (26) Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, second offense, as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 3323. (Added 2011, No. 41, § 3a.)

  • § 808e. Absconding from furlough; warrant

    The Commissioner of Corrections may issue a warrant for the arrest of a person who has absconded from furlough status in violation of subdivision 808(a)(6), subsection 808(e) or 808(f), or section 808a, 808b, or 808c of this title, requiring the person to be returned to a correctional facility. A person for whom an arrest warrant is issued pursuant to this section shall not earn credit toward service of his or her sentence for any days that the warrant is outstanding. (Added 2019, No. 77, § 11, eff. June 19, 2019.)

  • § 809. Pardons; application; notice; hearing; decision

    (a) When a person in confinement under sentence for a term of one year or more at any correctional facility applies to the Governor for a pardon, the application shall be in writing stating in substance the reasons for the application. If the Governor, in his or her opinion, believes the reason stated in the application, if proved true, would constitute cause for granting the pardon, within reasonable time he or she shall designate a time and place for hearing the same. He or she shall cause notice of the application and of the hearing to be given to the applicant and to the State's Attorney of the county in which the applicant was convicted and sentenced.

    (b) At the hearing, the Governor may direct as to the method of procedure in all respects and may adjourn the hearing from time to time as their convenience requires. When a decision has been made, it shall be communicated in writing to the applicant and to the State's Attorney, and, at the direction of the Governor, may be published in one or more newspapers published in the State. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 810. Conditional pardon; breach

    (a) In his or her discretion, the Governor may grant a pardon for offenses against the State upon the conditions as he or she judges proper. Until a person to whom a conditional pardon is granted is excused from the performance of the conditions thereof, the Governor shall have all the authority, rights, and powers over and in relation to the person which he or she would have if he or she were surety in the case upon the recognizance of the person before conviction, and he or she shall be the sole and exclusive judge as to whether the conditions of the pardon have been violated. If, in the judgment of the Governor, the conditions have been violated, he or she may cause the person to be apprehended and returned to his or her former condition of custody that execution of sentence may be complied with.

    (b) Whenever a person is conditionally pardoned, the Commissioner shall be furnished with a copy of the conditional pardon signed by the Governor, setting forth the name of the person, the nature of the crime of which he or she was convicted, the date and place of trial and sentence, and the terms of the conditional pardon. Such copy of the conditional pardon shall be full authority for the exercise by the Commissioner of all rights and powers over and in relation to the person prescribed by law and the order of the Governor and shall be a sufficient warrant for the detention of the person as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

    (c) The Commissioner may detain for safekeeping at a correctional facility any person who has allegedly violated the terms of his or her conditional pardon as ordered by the Governor, pending a conference with the advisory Parole Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, or the Governor, such period of detention not to exceed 30 days. The nature of the alleged violation shall be considered by the advisory Parole Board and recommendation made to the Governor. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 811. Work camps; reduction of term

    A reduction of up to 30 days in the minimum and maximum terms of confinement may be made in accordance with a policy established by the director of a work camp in which an inmate is confined for each month during which the inmate demonstrates, beyond the level normally expected, consistent program performance or meritorious work performance. (Added 2005, No. 63, § 4.)

  • § 812. Denial of good time credit

    If during the term of confinement an inmate commits any offense or violates any rule or regulation of the facility wherein he or she is confined, all or a portion of his or her good behavior reductions for the month of the offense or violation may be denied. Denial or forfeiture of good behavior reductions shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the Commissioner, and in accordance with the procedure established in section 852 of this title. In addition, a maximum of 10 days of any previously earned reductions may be forfeited for each subsequent offense or violation of any rule or regulation that occurs in the same month. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1977, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 813. Restoration of reductions

    The supervising officer of any facility wherein an inmate is confined may restore, following the established procedures within the facility, any denied or forfeited good behavior reductions or such portions thereof as he or she deems proper upon approval of the Commissioner. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1977, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 814. Appointment of agent, attorney, or trustee for an inmate

    (a) A person confined under a sentence of imprisonment shall not be allowed to engage actively in the pursuit of business or other economic interests unless he or she is placed on work release pursuant to section 753 of this title. The person shall, however, have the same right to appoint an agent, attorney-in-fact, or trustee to act in his or her own behalf with respect to his or her property or economic interests as if he or she were not confined.

    (b) Upon the application of a person confined or about to be confined under a sentence of imprisonment, the Probate Division of the Superior Court within the jurisdiction of which the inmate resided at the time of sentence or where the sentence was imposed may appoint a trustee to safeguard his or her property and economic interests during the period of his or her commitment. The trustee shall have such power and authority as the court designates in the order of appointment but, unless the order otherwise provides, shall have all the power and authority conferred by a general power of attorney. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011.)

  • § 815. Development of guidelines; visitation and recreation

    (a) Those sheriffs who administer jails or county lock-ups shall provide all inmates reasonable visitation and recreation opportunities.

    (b) The Commissioner, in cooperation with those sheriffs who administer jails or county lock-ups, shall develop guidelines for operation of those facilities, including the provision of inmates with visitation and recreation. (Added 1993, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 86, eff. June 21, 1994.)

  • § 816. Inmate Recreation Fund

    The Department shall accept monies generated by commissions on telephone services, commissary sales, and sales of approved items not available on commissary by the Department to inmates at its correctional facilities and shall establish with such monies an inmate recreation special fund. The fund shall be used to provide postage to inmates in a manner consistent with Department policy. The fund may be used for costs associated with the oversight and accounting of inmate cash accounts. The fund may be used, at the discretion of the Commissioner, to hire persons or purchase services, equipment, and goods to establish or enhance recreation activities for inmates confined in any of the Department's facilities, and for voluntary inmate contributions that promote the restoration of crime victims or communities. The inmates, through a process established by the inmate recreation fund committee, may also choose to create a loan fund, the operation of which shall be governed by rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, from which offenders may borrow in order to help them obtain housing upon release from incarceration. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 102a; 2001, No. 61, § 80, eff. July 1, 2002; 2001, No. 61, § 81, eff. July 1, 2005; 2001, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 172; 2003, No. 66, § 169; 2005, No. 71, § 145; 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 161a, eff. May 31, 2006.)

  • § 817. Creation of work camps; intent

    It is the intent of the General Assembly that the creation of one or more new work camps in fiscal year 2006 and after will help alleviate overcrowded conditions in the State's correctional facilities and permit Vermonters housed in out-of-state facilities to be brought home to Vermont. The General Assembly specifically does not intend the creation of new work camps to result in an increase in the total number of Vermont offenders sentenced to incarceration. Therefore, specific plans and programs developed by the Department of Corrections shall restrict placement in new work camps to those offenders who have been convicted of a nonviolent offense and who have served a portion of their current sentence within a correctional facility. No court shall impose a sentence of imprisonment to be served initially or solely within the new facility. (Added 2005, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. May 15, 2006.)

  • § 818. Earned good time; reduction of term

    (a) On or before July 1, 2020, the Department of Corrections shall file a proposed rule pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 implementing an earned good time program.

    (b) The earned good time program implemented pursuant to this section shall comply with the following standards:

    (1) The program shall be available for all sentenced offenders, including furloughed offenders, provided that the program shall not be available to offenders on probation or parole, to offenders eligible for a reduction of term pursuant to section 811 of this title, or to offenders sentenced to life without parole.

    (2) Offenders shall earn a reduction of five days in the minimum and maximum sentence for each month during which the offender:

    (A) is not adjudicated of a major disciplinary rule violation;

    (B) is not reincarcerated from the community for a violation of release conditions, provided that an offender who loses a residence for a reason other than fault on the part of the offender shall not be deemed reincarcerated under this subdivision; and

    (C) complies with a merit-based system designed to incentivize offenders to meet milestones identified by the Department that prepare offenders for reentry, if the offender has received a sentence of greater than one year.

    (3) An offender who receives post-adjudication treatment in a residential setting for a substance use disorder shall earn a reduction of one day in the minimum and maximum sentence for each day that the offender receives the inpatient treatment. While a person is in residential substance abuse treatment, he or she shall not be eligible for good time except as provided in this subsection.

    (4) The Department shall provide timely notice no less frequently than every 90 days to the offender and to any victim of record any time the offender receives a reduction in his or her term of supervision pursuant to this section, and the Department shall maintain a system that documents and records all such reductions in each offender's permanent record.

    (5) The program shall become effective upon the Department's adoption of final proposed rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 843. (Added 2019, No. 56, § 2, eff. June 10, 2019.)

  •  [Section 819 repealed effective July 1, 2021.]

    § 819. Extraordinary good time

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, award a reduction of up to 30 days in an offender's minimum and maximum sentence if the Commissioner determines that the offender has:

    (1) acted to protect the life or safety of another person;

    (2) performed an act that put the inmate in harm's way in order to protect or preserve the life of another person; or

    (3) performed an act of heroism during an emergency.

    (b) An award of extraordinary good time under this section may be made to an inmate:

    (1) sentenced or committed to the custody of the Commissioner as defined in section 701 of this title;

    (2) furloughed as defined in section 808 of this title;

    (3) on parole as defined in section 402 of this title; or

    (4) on supervised community sentence as defined in section 351 of this title.

    (c) Within 30 days after an award of extraordinary good time pursuant to this section, the Department's Victim Services Unit shall provide notice of the award and the newly effective minimum and maximum release dates to any victim of record. (Added 2019, No. 56, § 3, eff. June 10, 2019; repealed on July 1, 2021 by 2019, No. 56, § 7(a).)


  • Subchapter 004: DISCIPLINE AND CONTROL OF INMATES
  • § 851. General provisions

    The supervising officer of each facility shall be responsible for the discipline, control, and safe custody of the inmates therein. No inmate shall be punished except under the order of the officer or of a deputy designated by him or her for the purpose, nor shall any punishment be imposed otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 852. Disciplinary committee; hearing

    (a) The supervising officer of each facility shall appoint a disciplinary committee where appropriate from among the staff of the facility. The supervising officer may designate himself or herself or a subordinate as chair of the committee. The Commissioner may designate a hearing officer to hear evidence and make findings of fact and recommendations to the committee.

    (b) In disciplinary cases, which may involve the imposition of disciplinary segregation or the loss of good time, the disciplinary committee or a designated hearing officer shall conduct a fact-finding hearing pursuant to the following procedure:

    (1) Notice of the charge and of the hearing shall be given to the inmate so charged.

    (2) The inmate shall have an opportunity subject to reasonable rules to confront the person bringing the charge.

    (3) The inmate shall be entitled to be present and be heard at the hearing subject to reasonable rules of conduct.

    (4) The committee or hearing officer shall summon to testify any available witness or other persons with relevant knowledge of the incident subject to reasonable rules. The inmate charged may be permitted to question any person so summoned.

    (5) The inmate charged may be assisted upon request in the preparation and presentation of his or her case by an assigned employee of the facility if the supervising officer determines, in his or her discretion, that the requested employee is reasonably available.

    (c) If the charge against the inmate is sustained, the disciplinary committee may impose appropriate punishment, which shall be reviewed in every case by the supervising officer. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1973, No. 48, § 8; 1973, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 3, 1974.)

  • § 853. Punishment; maintenance of records; recommendation of transfer

    (a)(1) Except in serious cases as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, punishment for a breach of the rules and regulations of the facility shall consist of deprivation of privileges.

    (2) Serious breaches of the rules and regulations shall include assault, escape, attempt to escape, and other serious breaches. In cases involving a serious breach, the disciplinary committee may recommend to the supervising officer of the facility, who may then order, other forms of discipline in addition to or as substitution for a loss of privileges. If the serious breach results in damage to State-owned property, the disciplinary committee may fix an amount of restitution or reparation, which shall not exceed an amount the inmate can or will be able to pay, and shall fix the manner of performance. Other forms of discipline for a serious breach of the rules may include:

    (A) Recommendation by the disciplinary committee and by the supervising officer to the Commissioner that the inmate be transferred to another facility.

    (B) Segregation, in accordance with the regulations of the Department, in a cell or room, apart from the accommodations provided for inmates who are participating in programs of the facility; provided:

    (i) the period of such segregation shall not exceed 30 days consecutively;

    (ii) he inmate shall be supplied with a sufficient quantity of wholesome and nutritious food, which shall be of the same quantity and nutritional quality as that provided to the general population of inmates at the facility;

    (iii) adequate sanitary and other conditions required for the health of the inmate shall be maintained; and

    (iv) the supervising officer of the facility shall comply with any recommendation that may be made by the facility's physician for measures with respect to dietary needs or conditions of segregation of each inmate required to maintain the health of the inmate.

    (b) No cruel, inhuman, or corporal punishment shall be used on any inmate, nor is the use of force on any inmate justifiable except as provided by law.

    (c) The supervising officer of any facility shall maintain a record of all breaches of rules, the disposition of each case, and the punishment, if any, for each breach. Each breach of the rules by an inmate shall be entered in the file of the inmate, together with the disposition or punishment therefor. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 1975, No. 21, § 2, eff. March 31, 1975; 1977, No. 57, § 1, eff. April 21, 1977; 1977, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 854. Grievances

    The Commissioner shall establish procedures to review the grievances of inmates. The Commissioner may utilize the services of a hearing officer to review grievances. Such procedures shall provide for the following:

    (1) The review of grievances shall be by a person or persons other than the person or persons directly responsible for the conditions or actions giving rise to the grievance.

    (2) All inmates shall be allowed to communicate grievances directly to the Commissioner, and an inmate's right to file grievances shall not be restricted.

    (3) All inmates shall be informed of the grievance procedure, which shall be available to all inmates. (Added 1973, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 3, 1974.)

  • § 855. Hearing officers

    The Commissioner may appoint such hearing officers as are necessary to conduct administrative hearings within the Department. (Added 1973, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. May 3, 1974.)

  • § 856. Special management meals

    (a) When an inmate misuses bodily waste or fluids, food, or eating utensils, the supervising officer of the facility or his or her designee may order that the inmate be served special management meals in lieu of regular inmate meals pursuant to this section.

    (b)(1) When it appears to the supervising officer that an inmate may be subject to an order to receive special management meals, the officer shall notify the inmate in writing of the reason for the determination and the facility's evidence for it.

    (2)(A) Before being served special management meals, the inmate shall be provided an opportunity to meet with a member of the facility's staff not involved in the incident. The purpose of the meeting shall be to serve as an initial check against mistaken decisions and to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the inmate misused bodily waste or fluids, food, or eating utensils.

    (B) At a meeting between an inmate and a staff member held pursuant to this subdivision (2), the inmate may identify any disagreement he or she has with the facility's version of the facts, identify witnesses who support his or her defense, identify any mitigating circumstances that should be considered, and offer any other arguments that may be appropriate. The inmate shall not have the right to cross-examine witnesses or to call witnesses to testify on his or her behalf.

    (c) If the officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the inmate misused bodily waste or fluids, food, or eating utensils, the officer may order that the inmate be served special management meals in lieu of regular inmate meals for a maximum of seven consecutive days.

    (d) When the supervising officer orders that an inmate be served special management meals, a hearing officer designated by the officer shall conduct a fact-finding hearing within 48 hours pursuant to the following procedure:

    (1) Notice of the charge and of the hearing shall be given to the inmate.

    (2) The inmate shall have an opportunity, subject to reasonable rules, to confront the person bringing the charge.

    (3) The inmate shall have the right to be present and heard at the hearing subject to reasonable rules of conduct.

    (4) The hearing officer shall summon to testify any available witness or other persons with relevant knowledge of the incident, subject to reasonable rules. The inmate charged may be permitted to question any person who testifies pursuant to this subdivision.

    (5) If the inmate so requests, he or she may be assisted in the preparation and presentation of his or her case by an assigned employee of the facility if the supervising officer determines in his or her discretion that the requested employee is reasonably available.

    (e) If the hearing officer determines that a preponderance of the evidence does not establish that the inmate misused bodily waste or fluids, food, or eating utensils, the supervising officer shall discontinue service of special management meals to the inmate.

    (f) The service of special management meals shall not be construed as punishment and shall not be subject to the requirements of sections 851-853 of this title. (Added 2009, No. 58, § 21.)

  • § 857. Administrative segregation; procedural requirements

    (a) Except in emergency circumstances as described in subsection (b) of this section, before an inmate is placed in administrative segregation, regardless of whether that inmate has been designated as having a serious functional impairment under section 906 of this title, the inmate is entitled to a hearing pursuant to subsection 852(b) of this title.

    (b) In the event of an emergency situation and at the discretion of the Commissioner, an inmate may be placed in administrative segregation prior to receiving a hearing as described in subsection 852(b) of this title. (Added 2015, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 25, 2016.)


  • Subchapter 005: SPECIAL TREATMENT PROGRAMS
  • § 901. Evaluation and treatment facilities

    The Department shall operate or cause to be operated one or more facilities for the evaluation and treatment of offenders. The facilities may be either residential or nonresidential. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 902. Commitment and sentencing

    When a person is convicted of a crime before a court having criminal jurisdiction punishable by imprisonment, the court, in its discretion, before sentence may, with the consent of the Commissioner, order the person committed on a temporary basis to the custody of the Commissioner for the purpose of assignment to a facility for evaluation. The Commissioner shall return the person to the court within 60 days with a written report and recommendation whether the person should be placed on probation or should be committed. (Added 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 903. Access to treatment pending appeal; rule

    Treatment, assessment, evaluation, screening, or programming shall not be restricted or denied to inmates on the basis of any anticipated or pending direct or collateral appeal of any criminal conviction, nor on the basis of any position taken by the appellant in any such action. The Commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 regarding the confidentiality of communications by an inmate made for the purposes of treatment, assessment, evaluations, screening, or programming while an appeal is pending. This provision neither expands nor contracts the duty of the Commissioner to adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. (Added 1995, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 2015, No. 23, § 132.)

  • § 904. [Reserved for future use.]


  • Subchapter 006: SERVICES FOR INMATES WITH SERIOUS FUNCTIONAL IMPAIRMENT
  • § 905. Legislative intent

    It is the intent of the General Assembly that the serious functional impairment designation apply solely to individuals residing in a correctional facility and not to individuals reentering the community after incarceration. (Added 2013, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 9, 2014; amended 2017, No. 74, § 119a.)

  • § 906. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Serious functional impairment" means:

    (A) a disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory as diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional, which substantially impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life and which substantially impairs the ability to function within the correctional setting; or

    (B) a developmental disability, traumatic brain injury or other organic brain disorder, or various forms of dementia or other neurological disorders, as diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional, which substantially impairs the ability to function in the correctional setting.

    (2) "Qualified mental health professional" means a person with professional training, experience, and demonstrated competence in the treatment of mental conditions or psychiatric disabilities or serious functional impairments who is a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, nurse, or other qualified person determined by the Commissioner of Mental Health.

    (3) "Mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder" means a condition that falls under any Axis I diagnostic categories or the following Axis II diagnostic categories as listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition (Text Revision), as updated from time to time: borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, developmental disability, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, or schizotypal personality disorder.

    (4) "Screening" means an initial survey, which shall be trauma-informed, to identify whether an inmate has immediate treatment needs or is in need of further evaluation. (Added 1993, No. 224 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 15, § 22; 2009, No. 26, § 2; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 190.)

  • § 907. Mental health service for inmates; powers and responsibilities of Commissioner

    The Commissioner shall administer a program of trauma-informed mental health services that shall be available to all inmates and shall provide adequate staff to support the program. The program shall provide the following services:

    (1)(A) Within 24 hours of admittance to a correctional facility, all inmates shall be screened for any signs of mental illness, mental condition, psychiatric disability or disorder, or serious functional impairment. If as a result of the screening it is determined that the inmate is receiving services under the developmental disabilities home- and community-based services waiver or is currently receiving community rehabilitation and treatment services, he or she will automatically be designated as having a serious functional impairment.

    (B) Every inmate who is identified as a result of screening by a mental health professional as requiring inpatient evaluation, treatment, or services shall, within 48 hours of the screening, be provided with such treatment, evaluation, or services in a setting appropriate to the clinical needs of the inmate.

    (2) A thorough trauma-informed evaluation, conducted in a timely and reasonable fashion by a qualified mental health professional, which includes a review of available medical and psychiatric records. The evaluation shall be made of each inmate who:

    (A) has a history of a mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder;

    (B) has received community rehabilitation and treatment services; or

    (C) shows signs or symptoms of a mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder or of serious functional impairment at the initial screening or as observed subsequent to entering the facility.

    (3) The development and implementation of an individual treatment plan, when a clinical diagnosis by a qualified mental health professional indicates an inmate has a mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder or from serious functional impairment. The treatment plan shall be developed in accordance with best practices and explained to the inmate by a qualified mental health professional.

    (4) Access to a variety of services and levels of care consistent with the treatment plan to inmates with a mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder or serious functional impairment. These services shall include, as appropriate, the following:

    (A) Follow-up evaluations.

    (B) Crisis intervention.

    (C) Crisis beds.

    (D) Residential care within a correctional institution.

    (E) Clinical services provided within the general population of the correctional facility.

    (F) Services provided in designated special needs units.

    (G) As a joint responsibility with the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living, and working with designated agencies, the implementation of discharge planning that coordinates access to services for which the offender is eligible, developed in a manner that is guided by best practices and consistent with the reentry case plan developed under subsection 1(b) of this title.

    (H) Other services that the Department of Corrections, the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living, and the Department of Mental Health jointly determine to be appropriate.

    (5) Proactive procedures to seek and identify any inmate who has not received the enhanced screening, evaluation, and access to mental health services appropriate for inmates with a mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder or a serious functional impairment.

    (6) Special training to medical and correctional staff to enable them to identify and initially deal with inmates with a mental illness or disorder or a serious functional impairment. This training shall include the following:

    (A) Recognition of signs and symptoms of a mental condition or psychiatric disability or disorder or a serious functional impairment in the inmate population.

    (B) Recognition of signs and symptoms of chemical dependence and withdrawal.

    (C) Recognition of adverse reactions to psychotropic medication.

    (D) Recognition of improvement in the general condition of the inmate.

    (E) Recognition of developmental disability.

    (F) Recognition of mental health emergencies and specific instructions on contacting the appropriate professional care provider and taking other appropriate action.

    (G) Suicide potential and prevention.

    (H) Precise instructions on procedures for mental health referrals.

    (I) Any other training determined to be appropriate. (Added 1993, No. 224 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 15, § 22; 2009, No. 26, § 2; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 190; 2017, No. 78, § 5; 2017, No. 78, § 6, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 908. Access to mental health services; notice

    The Commissioner shall ensure that notice of services available to inmates and the manner in which those services are made available to inmates is widely disseminated to staff and inmates throughout the Department. (Added 1993, No. 224 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)