By: Jenna Ring
This past Monday night Green Mountain College students Toni Caggiano and Jasmine Holmes, hosted a discussion panel with member of the Dismas House in Rutland. Dismas House is a non-profit organization with different locations all of the U.S. The Dismas house is a place where people who have recently been released from jail can reside when they get out. They are upheld to high standards and are given some rules to follow, however for the most part they’re on their own. The people living in the Dismas House have a place to transition and are supposed to commit to a three-month stay minimum.
The panel consisted of four people who are current member of the Dismas House in Rutland along with the coordinator of the Rutland Dismas House. Each person shared a part of their own story with us. Discussing things such as how they ended up and prison, when they got released and how they’re doing currently. Each person story was incredibly compelling and extremely different from the person they were sitting next to. One thing everyone seemed to have in common was they were all having an extremely difficult time getting employed because they all have felonies on their records.
Listening to the panel discussion was extremely compelling and also thought provoking. Though some people have a strong connection and understanding of people who have been or are in prison others do not. It was very clear that these people living at the Dismas House have learned from their mistakes. Though they have done bad things in life that doesn’t make them bad people. It’s good not to always be so quick to judge. The Dismas House has two chapters in Vermont. Ones located in Rutland and the other is in Burlington.
If you’re ever curious about volunteering Dismas House is a great opportunity. You can find more information at: