To the Editor:

Vermont has been incarcerating people in Mississippi prisons. Recently, we’ve seen that many of these Vermonters have been infected by the COVID-19 virus.

To its credit, the state has sent an investigator to Mississippi to determine if our fellow Vermonters are being cared for as they should be. This is a good thing to do, but it would be much better to not incarcerate Vermont prisoners far from home in the first place.

Incarcerating people distant from family and friends is cruel and unusual punishment and should never be done. It does not help rehabilitate people and leads to high recidivism rates.

I don’t want to think about the awful influences our fellow Vermonters are exposed to in Mississippi prisons. Let’s bring all Vermonters back from out-of-state prisons. In many cases, they can be released to probationary supervision.

For those deemed too dangerous to release, we need to build the necessary facilities to safely and humanely rehabilitate them. We can’t afford to not do this. Let’s take our cues from Scandinavian approaches rather than from the worst kind of so-called “corrections” operations.

Thomas Anastasio

Hyde Park

Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.