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Vermont DOC Commissioner Issues Statement on Joshua Russ Plea Deal

Waterbury, VTVermont Department of Corrections Commissioner James Baker issued the following statement regarding Joshua Russ, a former community corrections officer, entering a “no contest” plea to charges of sexual exploitation of an inmate and prohibited acts in Windham County Superior Court:

“The majority of the people who work for the Vermont Department of Corrections are the most compassionate, selfless public servants I’ve met in my 45-plus years in the criminal justice field. What Joshua Russ did is a betrayal of trust to every person in Vermont DOC. The conduct described in court filings is outrageous and unacceptable, and it does damage to the incredible work done by every single person on this team. This type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

Russ worked as a CO1 at Southern State Correctional Facility from 2005 to 2008. He was rehired as a CCO at Brattleboro Probation and Parole in 2019. The charges in this matter were discovered by Vermont DOC staff and relayed to law enforcement authorities for investigation. In addition, Commissioner Baker ordered an internal Department investigation. Russ was placed on administrative leave on May 29, 2020.

Russ was sentenced on June 8, 2021, by Windham Criminal Division to four months to four years to serve. He is due to report to Northeast Correctional Complex on June 11.

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