MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is campaigning to try to cut the state’s prison population by half.

Officials with the Vermont ACLU say the state jails far more people than it needs to. Vermont Public Radio reports the ACLU held a press conference in Montpelier to launch the “Campaign for Smart Justice Vermont” on Wednesday.

Community organizer Nico Amador says the ACLU will be working at a grassroots level to galvanize support for policies needed to reduce the prison population, and eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Ashley Sawyer, a member of Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, says the state can invest in rehabilitation and community programs rather than prisons in order to create safer communities.


Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net