PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed a package of bills to reform the probation and parole system.
The bills passed Tuesday during a rare fall session and head to Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Raimondo says the state keeps too many people on probation and parole and doesn’t do enough to address the mental health issues of people, who then wind up incarcerated.
The legislature acted over objections from Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, who called it “feel-good legislation” that could hurt victims and risk public safety.
One bill provides for a Superior Court diversion program. Defendants would participate in substance abuse screening, community service or counseling.
Another would change sentencing guidelines.
Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey says the bills prioritize community safety, rehabilitation and the targeted investment of taxpayer dollars.