Vermont’s prison population has reached a record high of 2,100, reports the Vermont Press Bureau. “We have hit new records,” said corrections commissioner Robert Hoffman. Officials had hoped they could reduce the 400 prisoners who are housed out of state, saving money that could be used elsewhere. Those decreases are unlikely to materialize by the end of the fiscal year. Next year’s budget for corrections may be $10 million higher than the current year’s $100 million.
More state employees have the classification of Corrections Officer 1 than any other single job title, Hofmann said. Over the last year there has been a 40 percent turnover among them. Salaries for corrections officers were increased by about 5 percent. The commissioner told legislators that with issues of mental health care, overcrowding, recidivism and drug use, “it would be easy to get pretty depressed” about Vermont corrections.