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10/8/2021 Governor signs into law bill which enables the Parole Board to end a parolee’s supervision before the end of a criminal sentence
STATE HOUSE – Today, Governor Daniel McKee ceremonially signed into law legislation sponsored by Rep. Scott A. Slater and Sen. Ana B. Quezada which would, upon its own motion or upon request of a parolee, enable the Parole Board to terminate a parolee's supervision and legal custody order in accordance with certain guidelines.

The legislation would not apply to prisoners with a life sentence for first and second degree murder.

“If we believe in our criminal justice system, we have to recognize that rehabilitation is possible and that those who have served time for their crimes and mistakes must be given a second chance.  This bill will streamline the parole process while also emphasizing the rehabilitative aspects of parole, granting parolees their freedom after serving their sentence without incident or infraction, and allowing them to restart their lives as a productive member of society,” said Representative Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence).

“I was surprised to learn that one out of every 37 Rhode Islanders is on parole — the third highest in the nation.  Community supervision is a very important part of the justice system. But a system that is too overloaded cannot implement the effective supervision and treatment strategies we’ve been trying to promote.  That’s why this legislation is so important. It empowers the Parole Board to decide when to terminate community supervision in appropriate cases when they feel it is deserved. It is another way to smooth the road of those who trying their best to become productive members of society,” said Senator Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence).

The bill (2021-H 5468A / 2021-S 0316) states that seven years after releasing a prisoner on parole, the Parole Board must annually review the status of the parolee to determine the need for continued supervision. 

The Parole Board shall promulgate guidelines to provide a mechanism for eliminating supervision on parole, in deserving cases, consistent with the rehabilitative and reentry needs of the parolee and the promotion of public safety.

A parolee would be eligible to have their supervision terminated if they have observed all the laws within and without the state, if they have been employed and remain employed at the time of the proceeding, and if they have completed seven continuous years of supervision and are free from any incidents of new criminal behavior or serious parole violations.

Photo: Sen. Ana B. Quezada, left, and Rep. Scott A. Slater, right, at the ceremonial bill signing held at the State House.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903