WINDSOR, Vt. — A recently closed state prison in Windsor could be used as transitional housing for former inmates who can’t find a place to live after they have completed their sentences, a new report said.
But the report looking at the future of the now-closed Southeast State Correctional Facility says the location could also become home to Vermont’s Corrections Academy or the buildings could be demolished and the location sold to a private developer.
“We want what is best for the state,” said Vermont Corrections Commissioner Lisa Menard. “I think that a number of ideas were submitted in the report that may make some sense and I think we’ll probably be exploring many of those this legislative session.”
Officials had discussed closing Vermont’s most expensive prison for years, but Republican Gov. Phil Scott made it a priority after he took office in January. Vermont Public Radio reported the state Legislature made it official at the end of the 2017 session.
Menard’s report, dated Nov. 1, was submitted to a legislative committee that will consider the next use for the property.
Over the decades, the Windsor prison has served a number of functions. For a time it held the state’s female inmates.
Prison superintendent Kat Tkaczyk says most of the staff will be able to remain within the Department of Corrections.
“Today was the first day my staff was gone,” she said as she walked through the quiet prison. “Coming here today was hard. It was strange not seeing them all, and seeing it so quiet.”
At one time there were about 100 inmates at the Windsor prison. About 60 people worked there.
The prison will remain closed for the winter.
Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net