HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the Vermont Department of Corrections (VDOC) finalize a contract under the Interstate Corrections Compact for the out-of-state housing of Vermont inmates.
The states began to explore the possibility of the interstate transfer after a private prison company in Michigan announced in December 2016 that it would be terminating the VDOC out-of-state contract.
The new contract will have an initial term of three years with the option of two, one-year extensions. The DOC will house the VDOC inmates at a rate of $72 per inmate, per day.
“Across the system, we have roughly 5,000 empty beds,” said Corrections Secretary John E. Wetzel. “Vermont is looking for beds at the same time we have available beds, so it works out for both states.”
The agreement allows for the initial transfer to Pennsylvania of the 270 VDOC inmates currently housed in Michigan pursuant to the GEO Group contract. The terms of the agreement allow VDOC to house up to 400 inmates in Pennsylvania.
“If our state cannot house all of our inmates in Vermont due to a lack of beds in our system, we feel bringing them back to the northeast would be the next best thing,” said Lisa Menard, commissioner for the Vermont Department of Corrections. “We are looking forward to working with the PA DOC as a partner.”
The agreement allows inmates to be housed will be housed in two of Pennsylvania’s 26 state correctional institutions: SCI Camp Hill and the SCI Graterford.
The DOC was selected above the other vendors after VDOC looked at variables such as the number of available beds, the ability to house all custody levels, the location, and cost.
The inmates will begin transferring from Michigan to Pennsylvania in June.