Rhode Island to Launch New Justice Reinvestment Effort

July 9, 2015


Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo will join state leaders from both parties Tuesday to launch a comprehensive study of the state’s criminal justice system to identify new ways to relieve pressures on the correctional system and increase public safety.

The study will be overseen by a working group consisting of members from all three branches of government, a critical aspect of a national criminal justice reform framework known as “justice reinvestment,” a data-driven approach the state has used before to reduce corrections spending and redirect those savings to fund proven public safety strategies.

Rhode Island had the third-highest probation rate in the country in 2013, yet only a small portion (about 8 percent) of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) budget—which constitutes nearly half of all state costs associated with public safety—goes to probation and parole services. At the end of 2014, approximately 20,000 people were on probation supervision in Rhode Island, which represents 1 in 45 adult residents. Further, almost half of Rhode Island’s sentenced admissions to the Adult Correctional Institutions in 2014 were people who have been revoked from probation or parole supervision.

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