TJ Donovan

Recent Posts

Commentary: Reversing the trend of rising incarceration rates


or most of the last two decades, Vermont’s prison inmate population has been rising. Between 1997 and 2008, it grew by 86 percent. Projections made in 2007 said that Vermont’s inmate population would grow to 2,619 by November 2015. After years of work to reform Vermont’s criminal justice system that trend has been reversed, and today Vermont has 1,734 inmates, 885 less than projected. When I first ran for Governor I made reforming the criminal justice system a priority because it is the right thing to do. Continue Reading →

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In quest to prevent overdose deaths, Legislature considers criminal immunity for users

More than 70 Vermonters died last year in “drug-related” fatalities. Now lawmakers are wondering whether fear of prosecution might have cost some of them their lives. Legislation introduced in the House this afternoon would extend limited criminal immunity to anyone who seeks medical attention for a drug user experiencing an overdose. Convinced that the threat of prosecution has deterred life-saving calls to 911, Chittenden County State’s Attorney TJ Donovan said minimizing deaths associated with opiate use needs to become a public health imperative. “In no way do I view  this bill as condoning drug use or condoning people sharing drugs,” Donovan told the House Judiciary Committee this morning. Continue Reading →

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