Rhode Island has historically had a strong criminal justice system with relatively low incarceration rates and recidivism rates. However, they definitely saw increases in these numbers around 2008. The recidivism rate in 2004 before any reforms were passed was at 54%, and following the first reform dropped by about 5% in just five years. However, Rhode Island hit its prison population peak in 2008.
To address its peaking prison population, Rhode Island has worked to reform its criminal justice system:
Rhode Island has seen some impressive results since initiating criminal justice reform:
Congress has some great initiatives on the horizon that could reduce costs and the prison population, improve work release programs, and ultimately enhance public safety. Hopefully it will be productive in the coming years and pass more criminal justice reform legislation.
Identification of legislation should not be considered an endorsement of support of, or opposition to, such bills.