Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Vermont

I. Vermont Department of Employment and Training

Contact:
Vermont Department of Employment and Training
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-828-4000
802-828-4022 fax
Web Site: www.det.state.vt.us

Information about State Department of Labor resources may be of interest to:
• potential employers looking for incentives to hire individuals with criminal histories;
• service providers and individuals with criminal histories who are looking for assistance in finding employment; and
• researchers and policy makers looking at current programs to ascertain what programs are effective and serve their intended purpose.

A. Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Contact:
Vermont Department of Employment and Training
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-828-4350
802-828-4374 fax

B. Tax Credits
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

Contact:
Vermont Department of Employment and Training
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-828-4350
802-828-4374 fax

C. Unemployment Insurance Office
Unemployment compensation is a social insurance program designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work, generally through no fault of their own, for periods between jobs. In order to be eligible for benefits, jobless workers must demonstrate that they have worked, usually measured by amount of wages and/or weeks of work, and must be able and available for work.

The unemployment compensation program is based upon federal law, but administered by states under state law.

Applicants can file new claims or reopen existing claims by calling: 1-877-214-3330. When a new claim for unemployment benefits is filed, the individual filing the claim is registered at the nearest Career Resource Center for assistance in finding new employment.

Contact:
Vermont Department of Employment and Training
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-828-4242
802-828-4022 fax
Web Site: www.det.state.vt.us

Contact:

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II. Criminal Record Repository

This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet. The criminal record repository can also tell the individual who else is legally entitled to have access to his or her record.

The Vermont Criminal Information Center (VCIC) will provide a copy of a subject’s criminal history for limited purposes, including international travel, adoption screening, and personal review by the subject. These are the only purposes for which VCIC will release criminal records directly to a person requesting a copy of his or her record. Requests can be made in person at VCIC. Requesters must bring at least two pieces of identification, one of which must be a picture ID. Written requests are permitted if the applicant is incarcerated, a resident of another state or country, or is physically incapacitated and unable to travel. In these cases, the applicant must write to the Director of VCIC and describe the reason for the written request. The request must be accompanied by documentation verifying the requestor’s identity. There is currently no fee for this service, though requesters are encouraged to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their requests to expedite processing.

Contact:
Vermont Criminal Information Center
Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 189
Waterbury, VT 05676
802-674-2021
Web Site: www.dps.state.vt.us/

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III. State Attorney General

Employers and service providers may obtain information from the state attorney general regarding occupational bars, the licensing of individuals with criminal records in certain jobs, and whether the state has laws that limit what employers may ask job applicants or protections against employment discrimination based on a criminal record.

Contact:
Office of the Attorney General
109 State St.
Montpelier, VT 05609
802-828-3173
Web Site: www.state.vt.us/atg

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

The Vermont Offender Work Programs (VOWP) offers training in furniture making, printing, sheet metal sign construction, wood sawing, and phone assistance for the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. VOWP has a partnership with a private manufacturer under the PIE program. (Prison Industry Enhancement - a public/private partnership program sanctioned and regulated by the federal government allowing for interstate sale of offender manufactured goods.) A certification of skills is being developed to validate vocational skills acquired.

Contact:
Vermont Offender Work Programs
Vermont Department of Corrections
37 Commercial Dr.
Waterbury, VT 05676
802-241-1103

Work Release Program

There is no work release program available in Vermont.

Contact:

Pre-Release Program

There is no organized pre-release program in Vermont. Some assistance in preparing for release is given on an individual basis, but not as part of a formal program.

Contact:

Community Corrections Service Centers

Parole and probation supervision is provided by the Vermont Department of Corrections through its Community Corrections Service Center. In addition to parole and probation supervision, offenders may be sentenced by courts to a pre-approved furlough. The offender remains in the community, however if a violation occurs the offender may be remanded to a regular correctional facility to complete his/her sentence. Recently released prisoners may be required to attend a treatment program such as drug/alcohol counseling, domestic violence/anger management, or sexual misconduct counseling. Correctional specialists may assist with job searches, but Vermont’s Career Resource Centers are used most frequently. (See Section VII.)

Contact:
Burlington Community Corrections Service Center
50 Cherry St.
Burlington, VT 05401
802-863-7457

Vermont Department of Corrections

Contact:
Vermont Department of Corrections
103 S. Main St., 6 South
Waterbury, VT 05671
802-241-2442
802-241-2565 fax
Web Site: www.doc.state.vt.us

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V. Vermont State Board of Parole

The Vermont State Board of Parole makes decisions concerning parole release, however it is not responsible for supervision once a person is released on parole. Parolees are supervised by Community Corrections staff, which is under the supervision of the Vermont Department of Corrections.

Contact:
Vermont Parole Board
103 S. Main St., Ladd Hall
Waterbury, VT 05671
802-241-2294

Contact:

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VI. Legal Assistance

Free or low-cost legal resources, both in civil and criminal law, are helpful to individuals with criminal histories in learning about relevant state laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal histories or addressing other legal issues resulting from having a criminal history.

A. State Public Defender

Contact:
Office of the Defender General
120 State St.
Montpelier, VT 05620
802-828-3168
802-828-3163 fax
Web Site: www.defgen.state.vt.us

B. Legal Services

Legal Aid in Vermont offers legal services for civil cases only to low-income clients, the elderly or people with disabilities. Legal Aid also acts as a referral source to other volunteer organizations as needed.

Contact:
Vermont Legal Aid
264 N. Winooski Ave.
Burlington, VT 05402
802-863-5620
802-863-7152 fax
Web Site: www.vtlegalaid.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Vermont State Bar Association
35-37 Court St.
P.O. Box 100
Montpelier, VT 05620
802-223-2020
802-223-1573 fax

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VII. Local Service Providers

Community agencies are available to assist individuals with criminal records find employment. This information will inform individuals with criminal records about government agencies and community-based organizations that assist with employment, education or vocational training. Researchers and policy makers may find this information useful in identifying agencies and service providers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Vermont Works for Women - Vocational Training for Incarcerated Women

Vermont Works for Women (fornerly The Northern New England Tradeswomen) works to address the needs of women in Vermont to earn a livable wage and to succeed despite numerous personal, educational and economic barriers to employment. VWW currently offers the Modular Home project in the Northwest State Correctional Facility, in which female inmates build a modular home from start to finish, thereby learning carpentry, wiring, plumbing. Once completed, the home is sold as low-income housing.

Contact:
Morgan Shore
VWW Modular Home Project
51 Park St.
Essex Junction, VT 05401
(802) 655-8900 x504
E-Mail: www.vtworksforwomen.org

Vermont Works for Women - Transitional Jobs Program

Vermont Works for Women also offers a Transitional Jobs program for women who are transitioning out of incarceration or off of public assistance. The transitional jobs program is a 10-week “soft skills” job readiness course, combined with short-term (3 month) job placements with area employers.

Contact:
Louise Mastin x503 or Rachel Jolly x106
VWW Transitional Jobs Program
51 Park St.
Essex Junction, VT 05401
(802) 655-8900
E-Mail: www.vtworksforwomen.org

Community Resource Centers

Community Resource Centers are Vermont’s One Stop Career Resource Center system. The centers offer a comprehensive assortment of employment and job training programs, including labor market information, career development, assessment services, and specific programs for designated categories such as migrant workers, dislocated workers and unemployment services. Staffing at the centers include staff from other community resource partners such as human services, employment and training services, and community college representatives. Computers, with Internet access, are available. One-on-one consultation, as well as group workshops in job readiness, are held. A complete listing of area centers is available online at www.det.state.vt.us.

Contact:
Vermont Department of Employment and Training
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-828-4000
802-828-4022 fax
Web Site: www.det.state.vt.us

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