§ 42-7.3-3.2. Division of sheriffs.
(a) Division established. A division of sheriffs is hereby established within the department of public safety. This division shall be responsible for statewide activities assigned by law which relate to the duties and functions of the sheriffs of the several counties. The division also shall be responsible for all statewide activities assigned by law which relate to the duties and functions of state marshals. Among its other responsibilities, the division shall also be responsible for courtroom security and cellblocks in all state courthouses, training of personnel, transportation of individuals charged with crimes, and special operations.
(b) Powers and Duties.
(1) The division of sheriffs shall have the following powers and duties:
(i) To provide and maintain security for judges at all state courts;
(ii) To provide and maintain security in all courtrooms and other public areas within state courthouses;
(iii) To provide and maintain security in the cellblocks in all state courts, and exercise all powers as required and prescribed in all other provisions of the general laws and public laws relating to the powers and duties of sheriffs.
(2) The division of sheriffs shall also have the following powers and duties previously performed by the Rhode Island marshals:
(i) To be responsible for transportation statewide of prisoners to and from police departments, the adult correctional institutions, all courthouses, and other places of detention;
(ii) To transport persons arrested by state and local police departments to places of detention; provided, however, nothing in this subsection shall prevent state and local police departments from transporting those persons;
(iii) To supervise the conduct of and maintain order and discipline of the prisoners in their custody;
(iv) To be responsible for the custody and safety of prisoners while being transported to and from court sessions, places of detention, and outside hospitals prior to commitment to the adult correctional institutions;
(v) To be responsible for the custody and security of prisoners detained in the cellblock areas in the Kent County courthouse and Providence County superior courthouse and for the security of these prisoners during the hearing of their cases, and while in outside hospitals prior to commitment to the adult correctional institutions;
(vi) To be responsible for the safety and welfare of prisoners in their custody;
(vii) To provide all security in connection with transportation in the execution of extraditions, including, but not limited to, warrants, IAD (Interstate Agreement on Detainers), arrest affidavits, interstate compact extradition, and criminal detainers; and
(viii) To carry firearms as prescribed.
(c) The director of the department of public safety shall appoint deputy sheriffs pursuant to a rank structure determined by the director of the department of public safety and other necessary classifications, subject to the appropriation process, to provide assistance in the areas of courthouse and cellblock security, transportation of prisoners, staff training and special operations. All employees in the division of sheriffs shall be in the unclassified service pursuant to subdivision 36-4-2(a)(13).
(P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 9, § 19; P.L. 2012, ch. 324, § 3.)