Due to contract negotiations, Vermont inmates are being uprooted again. This time, all the way to a Mississippi prison. Which one is unclear at the moment.
On August 27th, the Department of Corrections (DOC) completed its dialogue with an out-of-state prison. It agreed during the meetings, lawyers and state officials will sign the contract that binds the agreement.
Once the contract is signed, more than 200 inmates from Vermont will be moved to a private prison facility run by CoreCivic located in Mississippi.
Where Are the Vermont Inmates Being Moved To?
Mike Touchette, the DOC Deputy Commissioner, refused to tell where the transferred inmates are being taken. He cited a state statute regarding contracts. VTDigger has not issued a copy of the contract.
The only information known is inmates will have the same phone system used by Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility. These phone services will be provided to all Vermont inmates who will be transferred.
Tallahatchie is managed by CoreCivic. CoreCivic is a large for-profit prison contractor. Tallahatchie houses roughly 2,672 inmates. The company formerly went by the name Corrections Corporation of America.
Discussions Regarding the Inmate Relocation
Since June, the state was in discussions with two out-of-state prisons. They are the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility Corporation located in Mississippi and Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation located in Rhode Island. Both prisons placed in their bids offering to accommodate 200 inmates from Vermont.
Tallahatchie won the bid over Central Falls because Inmate Calling Solutions are not available in Rhode Island.
Where Have the Inmates Been and Why the Move?
The inmates being transferred have been at Camp Hill Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. They have been in this facility since December 2016. The three-year contract had to be terminated prematurely due to the suffering the inmates underwent because of poor treatment.
Four Vermont inmates passed away while at Camp Hill. The deceased inmates’ names are:
- Herb Rodgers
- Michael Senna
- Rodger Brown
- Tim Adams
While the cause of their deaths leans more towards neglect, Brown died of lung cancer. An autopsy result is still pending to reveal Senna’s cause of death.
Matt Valerio, the Vermont Defender General, describes the guards and administration at Camp Hill as being awful.
Is Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility Corporation Any Better?
According to the report from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, they described Tallahatchie as having poor medical care. This is after they transferred 48 of its notorious inmates to Tallahatchie after a riot. The poor ratings were because an inmate died there in 2015.
Vermont’s relationship goes way back with CoreCivic. They had their inmates housed in their facilities before. Sharon Marcoux, the manager of DOC Facility Operations visited CoreCivic. She gave the facility great ratings. She said it was well managed.
Details of the Future Move
The inmates are expected to be transferred in October. However, the transfer will only happen after the contract has been signed and its contents made public. The officials have declined to give a date on when the transfer will happen and how much it is going to cost them.