ValleyNews from Mount Holly, Ver. tells MHProNews former state senator Will Hunter wants to turn an old roadhouse stopover for skiers in years gone by into a rehab house for 12 or so women who are recovering from substance abuse, and is asking the state for $300,000 to fund it. He has leased the Blue Spruce Inn with its 6.5 acres from a church group for $1 a year and intends to train the women in construction trades so they can build modular homes to be sold. He has already begun remodeling the inn, and some out buildings will be for art studios. The modular homes will be constructed, at first, in an adjacent field. The state prefers a larger population in one facility where it is less expensive per person to maintain the inmates. Women account for only seven percent of the prison population in Vermont, but it cost $79,642 a year per inmate, three times more than to send an in-state student to the University of Vermont. 64 percent of the women incarcerated are non-violent offenders and not a serious threat to public safety, and Taylor says they need to learn a skill to help support themselves when they are released, instead of reverting back to stealing to support a habit. When women were housed at the prison farm in Windsor, they built modular homes that sold with the money reverting to the state.
(Photo credit: Sarah Priestap/valleynews–a residence area for non-violent female inmates)