Plan To Release Offenders Stirs Fear In Barre

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Plans to release prison inmates early to save the state money are getting a cool reception in Barre and other Vermont cities and towns with high populations of former prisoners.

The state expects that about 270 people convicted of nonviolent offenses – such as burglary, drug crimes or theft – would be let out early under a bill moving through the Legislature and a separate cost-cutting measure proposed by Governor Jim Douglas.

The state says it simply can’t afford the growth in prison spending at a time when crime isn’t rising.

In Barre, people fear that adding more parolees and people on prison furloughs will drive up crime.

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