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S.291

Introduced by Committee on Institutions

Date:

Subject:  Corrections; Woodstock Regional Correctional Facility; closure

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that the Woodstock Regional Correctional Facility continue to operate at current bed capacity and staffing levels until June 30, 2003.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE WOODSTOCK REGIONAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  CORRECTIONS; WOODSTOCK REGIONAL

             CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

(a)  Notwithstanding the decision of the joint fiscal committee at its November 15, 2001 meeting to adopt the fiscal year 2002 expenditure reduction plan submitted by the secretary of administration pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 704 (“rescission plan #2”), the Woodstock Regional Correctional Facility shall continue to operate through June 30, 2003, at the bed capacity and staffing levels that existed on January 1, 2002. 

(b)  On or before April 15, 2002, the commissioner of corrections shall submit to the house and senate committees on appropriations and on institutions a proposal, consistent with this section, to meet the financial limits imposed on the department by rescission plan #2 that shall not include a reduction in the bed capacity or staffing levels as they existed on January 1, 2002, at any state-operated correctional facility.

(c)  Effective July 1, 2003, the department shall implement a plan, approved by the 2003 general assembly, to begin the process of closing the Woodstock Regional Correctional Facility, which shall be coordinated with the opening of the Southern Vermont Correctional Facility in Springfield.

(d)  The department shall maintain appropriate staffing levels to adequately supervise offenders who will serve all or part of their sentence in a community, and to otherwise protect the public and property from these offenders.

(e)  The department shall maintain sufficient bed space in different regions of the state to ensure that offenders know that there will be adverse and swift consequences for their errant behavior, and that they may be lodged in a correctional facility for violation of any condition of furlough, probation, or parole, or other sentence which is served in whole or in part in the community.