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Category Archives: Criminal Justice

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Former Attorney General Jim O’Neil Urges Reform Of Probation Laws

Former Attorney General Jim O’Neil has come out in strong support of reforming the state’s probation rules — the very rules he put in place when he was in office. The Senate hearing on Sen Perry’s probation reform bill is today. (I’m the House sponsor.)

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To Democrats Who Are Scared Of November: Stop Locking People Up

I have this article up at HuffPo today. Essentially, I think that Dems are misreading a lot of the angst that’s out there right now. It’s not cause to clam up — it’s a reason to show some fight. Criminal justice reform plays well to

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Hearing Today: Count Prisoners In Their Neighborhoods

This is by Bruce Reilly, via RIFuture: A hearing will be held tomorrow in the House Judiciary Committee at 4pm to weigh the current practice of counting prisoners as residents of Cranston, thereby artificially adding people to House Districts 15 and 16, and Senate District

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Probation Reform Bills To Be Heard Tomorrow

As many readers know, from years of our yapping about it, Rhode Island has the most heavy-handed probation laws in the country. Sentences are way longer than average, and it’s far easier than in most places to end up back in prison for a new

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Spa Sting Arrests Three Adult Women, No Men

By Nick Horton: The second series of arrests for indoor prostitution occurred Thursday night, Projo article here, resulting in three arrests of adult women and no human trafficking charges.  From the reports I heard, there were no translators present, and as you can see in

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36 Sponsors Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization

This is usually Beth’s beat, but… Rep. Jay Edwards has taken the lead on pot decriminalization, with about half of the members of the House signing on, and many more asserting their support. If it went to a vote today, it’d pass with a veto-proof

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Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The Mayor has vetoed the City Council’s recent changes to the Providence External Review Authority, entity that’s meant to monitor police abuse, which has historically been higher in Providence than in all but a couple of other large cities. And he’s upped the ante, by

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Schwarzenegger: Hasta La Vista to Exploding Prison Budgets

By Bruce Reilly: In this time of fiscal crisis the governor has announced that he will push for a constitutional amendment prohibiting the percentage of the state budget earmarked for prisons from exceeding what is set aside for its public university system. “Choosing universities over prisons,”

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Press Conference To Call For Override Of Probation Reform Veto

Short on time, so I’m just plopping down the press release. Would be wonderful if anybody cared to join us: Press Conference Wednesday, December 16 at Statehouse, 3pm Domestic Violence Victim Asks General Assembly to Override Governor’s Veto and Pass Probation & Innocence Bill On

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Fundraiser For Open Doors

Open Doors, until recently known as the Family Life Center, helped lead the groundbreaking movement to restore voting rights of those on probation and parole in RI.  In its day-to-day work it helps those who are leaving prison reintegrate into our communities, and fights high-cost

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I Have Seen The Future Of The Republican Party

And his name is George Hutchins.  Just a couple minutes poking around his campaign website for North Carolina’s Fourth District will make it clear that Hutchins is the real deal, not one of those fake conservatives. And as any REAL conservative knows, the reason that

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Another Week, Another Column

By the pompous-as-ever Ed Achorn, decrying we Neanderthal legislators who care not to punish victims of human trafficking. We know he thinks highly of himself, but the repeated self-congratulations must still be at least a bit hollow. So I’ve invited him to visit the ACI

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Mob To Move To Massachusetts

Channel 12 says that the center of gravity of the New England mob is about to shift back to Boston. The wonderfully sensationalistic video can be viewed here. PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – We’ve learned a major shift in power is happening right now inside the

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The Danger Of The Rhetoric Of Punishment

Why do we give the enforcers of criminal law — our police, our prosecutors, our jailers — so much power to make it? The last year of controversy, culminating in last week’s decision to outlaw indoor prostitution, proved once again that debates about criminal law