Close the Data Gaps in the Criminal Legal System

Act Now

Vermont’s prisons have some of the worst racial disparities in the country, and yet our criminal legal system does not collect or report adequate data to identify the root causes. That means we do not have a clear picture of who is sent or returned to prison, why, and for how long. State’s attorneys, judges and corrections officials have significant discretion in making these decisions, and without better data it is difficult to hold them accountable.

Vermont’s ability to address systemic racism in our state is only as good as the information we have to identify how and where racial disparities show up throughout the system. But right now, when it comes to identifying racial disparities in our criminal legal system, it’s like we are trying to put together a puzzle with missing pieces – we simply cannot see the whole picture.

This lack of publicly available data prevents informed policymaking and masks racial and geographic disparities in Vermont's criminal legal system. If we are committed to addressing those disparities, Vermont’s decision-makers need a better and more consistent picture of the system as a whole.

In short, the legislature needs to require system-wide, consistent, comprehensive data collection that is easily accessible and reported by the Department of Corrections, courts, prosecutors, and police.

Join us in calling on the legislature to pass and fund H.317 or S.108, bills that would create the Bureau of Racial Justice Statics and require data reporting system-wide. Together, we can ensure all our communities are strong, equitable, and inclusive.

The message below is editable so please personalize your message so that lawmakers know why this issue is important to you.

Message Recipients:
Your State Senator
Your State Representative

[The Form Label field is hidden on ACLU message action forms]
Your Message
Use the form to send a message to your legislator.

I am writing to ask you and the Vermont Legislature to pass and fund H.317 or S.108 in order to ensure our state is collecting adequate data from throughout the criminal legal system. This lack of publicly available data prevents informed policymaking and masks racial and geographic disparities in Vermont's criminal legal system. If we are committed to addressing those disparities, Vermont’s decision-makers need a better and more consistent picture of the system as a whole.

This is why I am asking you to pass and fund H.317 or S.108 to improve data collection and analysis in our criminal legal system.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]

Recent participants