Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order aimed at improving the state’s criminal justice system. The governor has created a panel to review problems in the justice system.
The issues the group intends to tackle include racial disparities for prison inmates and other people who come in contact with the justice system. They’ll also look at addiction, mental health, and probation. Rhode Island had the third highest rate of people on probation in the country in 2013.
Andrew Horowitz, of the criminal defense clinic at Roger Williams University Law School, says that signals a problem.
"Probation was intended to be reserved for people who could use and benefit from treatment, when you put way too many people on probation, that supervision, of course never takes place," said Horowitz.
The working group includes elected officials and law enforcement representatives. It will be chaired by State Supreme Court Justice Paul Suttell, and retired State Superior Court Associate Justice Judith Savage.
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