TITLE 42
State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-26
Public Safety Grant Administration Office

SECTION 42-26-13.3


§ 42-26-13.3. Prison inmate population capacity – Enforcement mechanisms.

(a) Whenever the overall population of the adult correctional institutions exceeds ninety-five percent (95%) of the annual capacity set by the committee for thirty (30) consecutive days or whenever the prison inmate population of any secure facility within the adult correctional institutions exceeds one hundred percent (100%) of its capacity established by court order, consent decree or otherwise, for five (5) consecutive days, the director of corrections shall notify the chairperson of the committee in writing and said chairperson shall schedule an emergency meeting of the committee within five (5) business days of notification to develop measures to address the overcrowding.

(b) The committee shall without delay encourage, coordinate and oversee efforts to initiate one or more of the following measures, as the committee deems appropriate, to address the overcrowding:

(1) Accelerate the implementation of systemic improvements, including, but not limited to, existing measures for the processing of bail for pretrial detainees, disposing of pending cases of sentenced inmates, providing accelerated bail hearings and expediting hearings for probation and parole violators.

(2) Implement immediately other systemic improvements on a temporary or permanent basis which may have a positive impact on expediting the processing of pretrial and/or sentenced inmates as may be necessary and to reduce incarceration days.

(c) In the event such systemic initiatives fail to reduce overcrowding of the inmate population at any secure facility or facilities to mandated levels within sixty (60) days of notification to the committee by the director of corrections of the overcrowding, the committee shall determine whether the source of the overcrowding is in the pretrial or sentenced inmate population. If the committee determines that the overcrowding results from the pretrial inmate population, the committee shall, without delay, encourage, coordinate and oversee efforts to initiate one or more of the following plans of action as may be necessary:

(1) Review cases of all pretrial detainees for possible release or bailment;

(2) Utilize alternative measures wherever possible to release pretrial detainees to community supervision;

(3) Establish a temporary bail fund to release nonviolent pretrial detainees, with or without community supervision.

(d) If the committee determines that the overcrowding problem results from the sentenced inmate population, the committee shall, without delay, encourage, coordinate and oversee efforts to initiate one or more of the following plans of action as may be necessary:

(1) Expand the availability of intermediate punishments;

(2) Accelerate parole hearings for those currently eligible and expedite release of those granted parole;

(3) Temporarily suspend existing guidelines for parole eligibility and consider all prisoners statutorily eligible for release or parole;

(4) Utilize statutorily authorized grants of meritorious good time to accelerate the release of nonviolent sentenced offenders who are within thirty (30) days of expiration of sentence.

(e) If the measures described in subsection (d) above fail to reduce the inmate population of any secure facility of the adult correctional institutions to mandated levels within an additional sixty (60) days (or within one hundred twenty (120) days after written notification to the committee by the director of corrections of the overcrowding crisis), the committee shall be authorized to direct the parole board to consider the good time earned by nonviolent offenders pursuant to the provisions of § 42-56-24 and § 42-56-26 for the purpose of expediting the parole eligibility of the minimum number of nonviolent sentenced offenders needed to meet mandated population levels. A "nonviolent offender" is defined as one who is not currently serving a sentence of incarceration resulting from a conviction for a crime of violence defined by § 42-56-20.2.

(f) If the measures described in subsection (e) above fail to reduce the inmate population of any secure facility to mandated levels within an additional sixty (60) days (or within one hundred eighty (180) days after written notification to the committee by the director of corrections of the overcrowding crisis), the chairperson of the committee shall notify the governor and recommend the grant of sufficient emergency good time to nonviolent offenders to expedite eligibility for parole of the minimum number of sentenced offenders to meet the mandated population caps. The governor shall direct the director of corrections to grant such emergency good time in ten (10) day increments to all nonviolent sentenced offenders. Such ten (10) day increments of emergency good time shall be granted to make the minimum number of offenders eligible for and actually released on parole to meet mandated population caps. Upon notification of the governor of the grant of emergency good time, the parole board shall consider emergency good time in determining eligibility for parole. A "nonviolent offender" is defined here, as above in subsection (e), as one who is not currently serving a sentence of incarceration resulting from a conviction for a crime of violence as defined by § 42-56-20.2.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1993, ch. 108, § 1.)