Vermont Future Caucus Unites to Present Landmark Earned Time Bill H.836
January 22, 2024
Criminal Justice Reform Bill Expands Rehabilitation Opportunities through Higher Education
MONTPELIER, VT — In a groundbreaking move, the Vermont Future Caucus, a tri-partisan caucus of Gen Z and millennial state lawmakers, has introduced a pioneering piece of legislation, H.836 – an act relating to the expansion of earned time in the Department of Corrections to include credit for higher education degrees. This bill stands as a testament to Vermont’s commitment to criminal justice reform and the rehabilitation of offenders through education.
Rep. Mary-Katherine Stone (D-VT-031), co-chair of the Vermont Future Caucus, was inspired by the success of a similar bill in Colorado, which has demonstrated substantial positive impacts. Representative Stone collaborated with legislative counsel and fellow members of the Vermont Future Caucus to draft a bill that expands on these achievements.
- Objective: H.836 aims to expand the Department of Corrections’ earned time program, offering sentence reductions to eligible offenders who achieve higher education degrees or credentials from accredited institutions.
- Sentence Reductions:
- Certificate: 6 months
- Associate/Baccalaureate degree: 1 year
- Master’s degree: 18 months
- Doctoral degree: 24 months
A Unified Effort
The bill is co-sponsored by fifteen members of the Vermont Future Caucus, symbolizing a tripartisan effort toward a common goal. “This is more than just a bill; it’s a collaborative mission that all of us in the caucus are proud to champion,” stated Rep. Stone. The caucus, known for its innovative approach to legislation, has added each member as a co-lead sponsor, showcasing a collective commitment to this cause.
VT Rep. Daisy Berbeco (D-VT-038)
VT Rep. Lucy Boyden (D-VT-057)
VT Rep. Karen Dolan (D-VT-039)
VT Rep. Gina Galfetti (R-VT-089)
VT Rep. Troy Headrick (D-VT-032)
VT Rep. Philip “Jay” Hooper (D-VT-063)
VT Rep. Emilie “Emily” Krasnow (D-VT-026)
VT Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (D-VT-034)
VT Rep. Monique Priestley (D-VT-060)
VT Rep. Mike Rice (D-VT-012)
VT Rep. Mary-Katherine Stone (D-VT-031)
VT Rep. Heather Surprenant (D-VT-103)
VT Rep. Casey Toof (R-VT-053)
VT Rep. Chea Waters Evans (D-VT-022)
VT Rep. Jonathan Williams (D-VT-084)
Filed on January 22 and receiving its first reading on January 23, H.836 is now on its path through the legislative process, marking a significant step forward in Vermont’s approach to criminal justice and rehabilitation.
About Future Caucus
Future Caucus is a national, nonpartisan 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to activating young policymakers to bridge the partisan divide and lead a new era of collaborative governance. In 2013, it organized America’s first-ever bipartisan caucus for young members of Congress — the Congressional Future Caucus. Shaping the next generation of leadership, the organization’s Future Caucus network has expanded into 34 state legislatures and grown into the largest nonpartisan organization of Gen Z and millennial elected officials in the U.S. More information is available at: www.futurecaucus.org.
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