Corrections commissioner recommended Kentucky warden’s removal

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(Host) Vermont Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold says he recommended the removal of the warden at a Kentucky prison operated by the Corrections Corporation of America. The state has contracted with CCA to house more than 400 Vermont inmates at the prison, which was the site of a serious uprising last week.

Speaking Thursday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Gold said inmates were angry over policies instituted by the prison warden. The warden was replaced over the weekend.

A number of Vermont inmates were involved in the disturbance, although Gold says the exact number is still unclear. Gold says prior to the uprising, Vermont corrections officials were spending a few days each month at the Kentucky facility.

(Gold) “Clearly we need to be there much more than that. I and the inmates have asked for and, in fact, CCA has asked for a fulltime presence there so I have already begun to initiate planning to have a full time contract monitor-ombudsperson there from Vermont.”

(Host) Gold says he’s satisfied Corrections Corporation is responding to problems at the Kentucky prison. He says he prefers not to house Vermont prisoners out of state and hopes to end the practice by the time the agreement with Corrections Corporation expires in 2006.

(Gold) “When that contract expires I am very hopeful that we will be looking at a situation where we have a smaller need for out of state, if any need at all. I anticipate that we will be putting out another request for proposals if, in fact, we still need to be going out of state with some Vermont inmates.”

(Host) Recently a commission appointed by the governor submitted a list of recommendations for reducing prison overcrowding in Vermont and eliminating the need to house prisoners out of state.

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