Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $136,149)
The Vermont SAC proposes two projects, one core capacity and one special emphasis project. Core Capacity Project - Violent Crimes in Vermont: This study will be a comprehensive analysis of the scope and extent of violent crimes. Between 2016 and 2019, violent crime in the state rose from 136.5 offenses per 100,000 people per year to 207.2 offenses per 100,000 people per year. Using data from NIBRS, the courts, and criminal histories, the SAC will prepare a comprehensive description of violent crimes in Vermont including identifying those cleared and if there are patterns that predict whether an arrest will be made. The report will include a typography of offenders that show the trajectory of an individual’s criminal career. Following through with the court process, the report will describe the charges filed, and any disparities based on race, gender, age, or by county. Special Emphasis: Criminal Justice Investment and Trends Report. For over 20 years, Vermont has engaged in criminal justice reform efforts including efforts to divert low risk offenders from the correctional system, implement restorative justice programs in communities, implement bail reform, and increase access to domestic violence programs. Through these efforts, there was incremental improvement in state and community organization’s ability to collect and report on criminal justice data. However, it is an intensive process to collect and analyze these data at the system level. To address this issue, the Vermont Legislature passed S.14 An act relating to a report on criminal justice – related investments and trends naming the SAC as the entity to prepare and submit a comprehensive report to the policy and appropriation committees which have oversight for the criminal justice system in Vermont. The report requires the SAC to compile data showing: recidivism rates, clearance rates, evidence of desistance, returns to incarceration from community supervision, bail rates, pretrial detainee data, funding for, and utilization of, substance abuse, mental health, educational, and vocational initiatives for incarcerated individuals, funding for, and utilization by, individuals served through Justice Reinvestment and related initiatives including: domestic violence intervention programming, offender transitional housing, restorative justice programs, general fund expenditures for justice reinvestment initiatives, and the average cost per bed of the Department of Corrections’ out-of-state beds contract in fiscal year 2019 and for each fiscal year thereafter. Data for this project will come from multiple sources. Administrative data will be collected from Corrections, Judiciary, Labor, community justice centers, and domestic violence programs. The deliverables will consist of a report that provides a comprehensive view of criminal justice trends and investments, recidivism rates, and recommendations for future data collection to describe desistance.