By Jane Lindholm, Ric Cengeri & Amanda Shepard

In his budget address last month, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that he plans to cut almost $2 million of funding from the Community High School of Vermont, a program that provides high school classes to those in Vermont’s prison system.

There are 17 campuses in Vermont, according to Wilhelmina Picard, Vermont’s director of corrections education — one in each of the prison facilities and at nine parole and probation offices throughout the state. The proposed budget cuts would reduce the program to four prison campuses in Vermont.

Picard says that on a typical day, there are approximately 500 to 600 enrolled students in classrooms throughout the state.

“We have basic skills classes, regular high school classes, career and technical education classes, welding programs, culinary arts programs, and a number of different things,” says Picard. She explains that Community High School doesn’t look much different from other high schools, other than its alternative setting.

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About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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