R 095
2021 -- H 5945
Enacted 02/25/2021

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Felix, Batista, Kazarian, Casimiro, Edwards, Potter, Alzate, S Lima, Morales, and Giraldo

Date Introduced: February 25, 2021

     WHEREAS, The Day of Empathy is a national day of action organized in various states
"to generate empathy, humanize, and uplift the stories of those who have been impacted by the
criminal justice system"; and
     WHEREAS, The vast majority of the more than 1,800 people currently serving sentences
in Rhode Island's prisons and jails will transition into communities throughout the state; and
     WHEREAS, These formerly incarcerated individuals will become part of a population of
more than 70,000 Rhode Islanders who have a past felony record; and
     WHEREAS, Helping people with criminal records become productive members of
society benefits their families and communities in many ways, including improving safety and
preventing and reducing crime; and
     WHEREAS, Formerly incarcerated individuals face numerous challenges that include
finding work, housing, health care, and transportation, and these challenges may lead to
recidivism, health, social, and security concerns; and
     WHEREAS, Federal, state, and local leaders have worked to establish a policy that
supports individuals who return to their communities after serving time in prison, jail, or under
custodial supervision; and
     WHEREAS, Dream Corps JUSTICE has developed plans and policies to facilitate a
better transition for people from incarceration or community supervision back into society by
coordinating existing resources, identifying resource gaps, and advocating on behalf of
individuals with criminal records; and
     WHEREAS, The National Day of Empathy includes representation from government,
education, faith- and community-based organizations, and those formerly incarcerated, and is
studying the needs of individuals who have been released from correctional institutions and
working to increase the effectiveness of local reentry councils and smart criminal justice policies
and/or practices; and
     WHEREAS, The National Day of Empathy serves to connect justice-involved individuals
with resources and services important to successful reentry, and decrease stigma by raising public
awareness of the issues and challenges faced by formerly incarcerated individuals as they reenter
the community; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island hereby
proclaims March 2, 2021, as a “Day of Empathy” and urges its observance to all citizens; and be
it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Nick Horton and Patrick Westfall, Co-
Executive Directors of OpenDoors.