R 312
2002-H 8197
Enacted 06/04/2002

H  O  U  S  E       R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N



Introduced By: Representative Joseph S. Almeida


Date Introduced: May 28, 2002

RESOLVED, That a special house commission be and the same is hereby created consisting of eleven (11) members: two (2) of whom shall be members of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, or designee, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the House Judiciary Committee, or designee, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one (1) of whom shall be the Director of the Department of Corrections, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, and also a member of the Rhode Island Minority Police Association, to be appointed by the President of RIBCO; one (1) of whom shall be a family member of a current prisoner, appointed by DARE; one (1) of whom shall be a former prisoner, who has served a portion of his/her sentence in the past ten (10) years; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Ministers Alliance, appointed by said organization; one (1) of whom shall be a mental health advocate, to be appointed by NAMI, the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill of Rhode Island; one (1) of whom shall be a civil lawyer, appointed by the Speaker of the House; and one (1) of whom shall be the Director of Human Rights Commission, or designee.

The purpose of said commission shall be to perform a comprehensive study of the grievance procedure at the Department of Corrections, the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Corrections' policies in promoting rehabilitation, the Department of Corrections' compliance with their own policies as well as state and federal regulations pertaining to the rights of prisoners, and to determine the best means for fostering accountability between the Department of Corrections, the prisoners in its custody, and the public at large.

In order for the commission to perform its duties:

(1) The Department of Corrections must notify all inmates at the Adult Correctional Institute about the existence of said commission and provide them with contact information for the commission. Inmates shall be encouraged to write to the commission without suffering reprisals for doing so;

(2) After undergoing a BCI clearance, members of the commission, that are not employees of the Department of Corrections, will have access to all facilities at the prison, within six (6) hours advanced notice, for tours and inspection;

(3) Members of the commission shall be allowed to meet with inmates and interview them out of sight and hearing of any officer or employee of the institution; provided, however, that reasonable security measures shall be observed; and

(4) The commission shall have access to any and all records of a prisoner incarcerated, with his/her permission, including, but not limited to, medical, discipline, classification, administrative and grievance records.

Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at the call of the Speaker of the House and organize and shall select from among the legislators a chairperson. Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.

The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.

All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.

The Speaker of the House is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for said commission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives on or before March 13, 2003 and said commission shall expire on May 13, 2003.

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