Watching local Vermont Jewish organizations react to the crisis in Gaza and pro-Palestinian protests in Burlington with victimization, dehumanizing language, and even the outright rejection of anti-Zionist Jews as members of the broader Vermont Jewish community, has affirmed to me, an anti-Zionist trans woman and Jewish Vermonter, that Zionism has completely hollowed out generations of Jewish values, even in Vermont.
Author: Emily W
While COVID-19 has put a years-long hold on incarcerated Vermonters performing physically grueling and sometimes dangerous labor for little or no money, dozens if not hundreds of Vermont organizations have used this labor as a way to save money, creating an incentive for municipalities to over-police in exchange for cheap labor.
When we look at how some of those services are delivered within the correction system, it’s obvious that folks don’t have any choice in where they get those services, or what price points to get those services at, which creates a real problem when you have very limited resources and an inability to earn those resources. And we also see things costing far more within an incarcerated setting than they might for folks on the outside.
Vermont, like every other state, has contracts between its Department of Corrections and private, for-profit companies to meet incarcerated people’s commissary, media, and telecommunication needs. The State of Vermont allows these corporations to charge prices that far exceed anything paid by Vermonters on the outside. Moreover, the state receives a portion of the proceeds, incentivizing DOC officials to continue the practice without scrutiny or legislative oversight.
In Part 2 of this series, we look at how Vermont’s incarcerated workers are exploited by the State, the Vermont Department of Corrections, and the many nonprofits and municipalities that employ them.
This November, the Vermont Abolish Slavery and Indentured Servitude Amendment to the Vermont State Constitution will be presented to Vermont voters for approval. The bill intends to update Vermont’s Constitution regarding slavery, clarifying that “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”
The Winooski School District’s almost-completed $62 million school expansion project has been in the news for being behind schedule and incurring rising costs. What is likely unknown to the city’s residents and most Winooski school officials is the project’s use of over $400,000 worth of incarcerated labor, worth millions in real labor costs, on average making less than $1 an hour.
Data strongly suggests that while Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George uses progressive language, her office is often in lockstep with local police departments, from arrests to incarceration and restorative justice.
In the middle of a spring marked by widespread anti-trans political action and legislation in the US and heightened transphobic and homophobic violence in Vermont, Wright invited right-wing activist Karlyn Borysenko onto his radio program.
Burlington’s interim Chief of Police Murad has joined ex-NYPD Chief Bill Bratton’s new venture, the Public Safety Research Center (PSRC), as a member of its advisory board. The PSRC has only one listed sponsor, ShotSpotter, a controversial gunfire locator service.