Vermont Parol Board head discusses challenges facing criminal justice system

Dean George is a retired Vermont State Police captain, former state representative and Middlebury Selectboard member. He was appointed to the Vermont Parole Board by Gov. Jim Douglas and was named chair a year later.

The board processes eligible offenders for parole by carefully evaluating their risk to public safety and also taking into consideration their age, employment, family support, history, accountability and achievement to ensure a successful transition.

In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview George about the process of getting inmates ready for parole hearings and helping them transition back into the workforce and community.

Dean said there are options for a parolee to get early release for good behavior and also conditional re-entry, which prepares them for what their parole hearing would be like.

He spoke highly of housing and recovery programs like CoSa (Circle of Support and Accountability), but said there is a lack of approved housing for parolees with long waiting lists. This results in parolees being kept beyond their minimum date. He said the Board does everything in its power to ensure a successful reentry for each inmate although there are obstacles along the way.

Watch full episode:

Image courtesy of Vote for Vermont/Pat McDonald