A system designed to help criminal offenders serve less time in prison is driving up Vermont’s prison admissions, according to new research from the Council of State Governments.
Though the furlough program lets inmates leave prison earlier than normal, its strict conditions mean that many people end up back behind bars, usually because of minor violations, researchers say.
In a two-year study period, 78 percent of those released from prison went back to jail because they violated the conditions of their furlough, parole or probation, researchers found.
Vermont’s furlough program, which is unique to the state, allows inmates to be released before they become eligible for probation or parole, and, in some cases, before they reach their minimum sentences. While out on furlough, offenders are under strict supervision by the Department of Corrections.