November 30

Looking Criminal and the Presumption of Dangerousness

The Hon. Mark W. Bennet, U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Iowa, and Dr. Victoria C. Plaut, a social psychologist and Professor of Law and Social Science
and Director of the Culture, Diversity, and Intergroup Relations Lab, UC Berkeley
School of Law, have recently published an article addressing the historic presumption of dangerousness that Whites routinely apply to Blacks in America.


This is one more reason why selecting a fair and impartial jury for a Black defendant charged with a serious crime in Vermont, the state with the second highest percentage of white people (95.2%), is so incredibly difficult and frustrating. Potential jurors are reluctant to admit to any explicit bias, much less an implicit bias against a Black defendant.

If you think you do not have any implicit bias, I suggest you take the Project Implicit test at the Harvard University website: here.


February 18

ACLU Report: Healthcare Not Handcuffs

The ACLU report, “HEALTHCARE NOT HANDCUFFS: Putting the Affordable Care Act to Work for Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Reform,” outlines some of the major provisions of the ACA relevant to criminal justice and drug policy reform and explores specific applications of those provisions, including program and policy examples and suggested action steps.

Healthcare Not Handcuffs

February 5

Help for Veterans in Vermont

The Veterans Justice Outreach Initiative offers help for veterans who are in need of mental health treatment and are involved with the criminal justice system. The VA has information to help veterans get timely access to VHA services as clinically indicated. Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists are responsible for direct outreach, assessment, and case management for justice-involved Veterans in local courts and jails, and liaison with local justice system partners. The general rule of thumb for eligibility requirements for VA healthcare services is that they have to have a separation from the military that is general under honorable conditions or above and that they were active duty for two years or more. The Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists can facilitate enrollment in the WRJ VAMC if they are not currently enrolled and the specialist can facilitate referral to mental health and substance abuse services in the VA both in Vermont and throughout the country.

Health Care for Homeless Veterans
VAMC White River Junction
Department of Veterans Affairs
215 North Main Street
White River Jct, VT 05009

VJO White Paper