Youth Incarceration & Abuse at Woodside

In light of a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of seven youth formerly lodged at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Essex, The Rake Vermont is releasing a series of articles about the now-defunct children’s prison.

Woodside’s Legacy: The Origins of Youth Incarceration in Vermont


February 16, 2022
The Vermont Abolish Slavery and Indentured Servitude Amendment to the Vermont State Constitution does not seem to address the Vermont Department of Correction’s Vermont Offender Work Programs (VOWP), which, while technically voluntary, is considered by many to be modern-day slavery.

Abuse and Neglect on DCF’s Watch: Cruelty at Woodside


March 25, 2022
Vermont’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) purportedly exists to protect the children in its care; however, youth lodged at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Colchester had the opposite experience. DCF displayed well-documented patterns of abuse and neglect of the children at Woodside, and without legal action, it is unclear whether DCF would have ever taken concerns about this abuse and neglect seriously.

From Bad to Worse? Vermont Sent Youth from Abusive Woodside to Another Facility with Its Own Abuse Allegations


March 27, 2023
The State of Vermont has agreed to a $4.5 million settlement in a civil lawsuit filed in December 2021 on behalf of seven youth formerly lodged at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center. The lawsuit, which was filed against 22 state employees accused of abusing the seven plaintiffs, alleged appalling abuse and neglect between 2016 and 2020.

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