MONTPELIER — Days after a report emerged that condemned the conditions at a women’s prison in South Burlington, a corrections official announced in an internal email that the superintendent of the facility is moving to a new job. David Turner, a veteran employee of the Vermont Department of Corrections, will vacate the superintendent’s position at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility for another job within the department, said Turner’s supervisor, Bill Lawhorn. Turner asked on Monday to leave the superintendent’s position, and an email announcing the change was sent to corrections staff Thursday, Lawhorn said in an interview. Lawhorn was reluctant to directly say whether the move was related to the controversy surrounding the prison that became public this week. “I’m going to say no, it’s not related to it, but many people are going to form their own opinions about it,” said Lawhorn. Turner did not respond to a request for comment. A coalition of women’s groups issued a white paper this week that highlighted problems at the South Burlington prison and called on state officials to solve them. There were worms and flies in shower drains, the heating system was faulty and prone to shutting down, and programs to prepare women for life outside prison are inadequate, according to the report. Shumlin administration officials have said they are addressing problems related to the facility and the programming that were the focus of the report, and lawmakers have vowed to pay close attention to the issue. The prison in South Burlington was converted to a women’s prison last summer as part of the Shumlin administration’s attempt to reduce corrections costs. Advocates say corrections officials have worked hard to make the move work. “However, six months into the transition, there are disturbing signs that we’re not only falling short of the governor’s vision, but are on track to erode a decade’s worth of progress in our work with incarcerated women,” the report says. Shumlin this week defended the decision to move the prisoners, saying it was not a mistake. Turner will be swapping jobs temporarily with Bob Arnell, who heads the unit within corrections that manages prisoners in out-of-state jails, said Lawhorn. Arnell will be interim superintendent of the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility starting March 25. Turner has worked for corrections for about 27 years, said Lawhorn, who praised Turner’s work in helping move the women from a Swanton prison to South Burlington. “As a loyal and dedicated professional,” Lawhorn wrote in the email, “David made huge strides in meeting this challenge and all of his efforts are appreciated.” Andy Pallito, the commissioner of the Department of Corrections, did not respond to requests for comment. @Tagline:thatcher.moats @timesargus.com

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