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Vermont DOC Risk Intervention Services Model Aids in Reducing Recidivism, Report Shows

Waterbury, VT – A recent report from the Vermont Crime Research Group (CRG) states Risk Intervention Services (RIS) administered by the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) provide a promising model to reduce recidivism following release from incarceration.

DOC launched RIS in 2016 at four of Vermont’s six correctional facilities. Services include behavioral programming, educational courses, and workforce development. Eligibility is determined by risk assessments upon intake.

The study reported a three-year recidivism rate of 23% for individuals participating in RIS during 2016-2019; this is significantly lower than the 42% three-year recidivism rate of the total population released from incarceration in 2019. Results also noted significant efficacy of RIS for individuals with domestic violence offenses, where recidivism rates fell 16 percentage points from a similar study done in 2011.

Department officials say the proven success of RIS not only benefits Vermont’s communities by lower recidivism rates, but also Vermont’s workforce by providing education and professional development to individuals who are likely to be seeking employment upon release. Department officials state the report data will also help shape future expansion of RIS and further the Department’s initiatives to modernize the corrections system in Vermont and serve as a model for other states.