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Justice Reinvestment in Rhode Island: An Overview

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2015
4 pages
As part of Rhode Island's commitment to a second justice reinvestment effort that involves a reform of the State's probation system, this overview report highlights some recent trends in the State's criminal justice system and outlines steps for the proposed justice reinvestment approach.
Among the trends in the State's criminal justice system is the Department of Corrections' (DOC's) budget accounting for almost half of all State costs for public safety; however, only a small portion of the DOC budget goes to probation and parole services. A second trend noted is the projection that the average daily sentenced population in adult correctional institutions will grow over the next 10 years, even though the inmate population declined between 2004 and 2014 under the previous justice reinvestment program. A third trend shows that Rhode Island has a greater percentage of residents under probation supervision than almost any other State. Other trends are as follows: Nearly half of sentenced admissions to incarceration involve probation or parole revocations; a significant percentage of the inmate population is awaiting trial, showing a significant increase in recent years; among the New England States, Rhode Island has the highest total index crime rate; the parole grant rate for the State has decreased significantly in recent years; and although recidivism rates declined between 2004 and 2009, the rate remains high. Proposed justice reinvestment steps are to analyze data and develop policy options; adopt new policies; implement reinvestment strategies; and measure performance. 26 notes