House OKs bill to ease prisoners’ transition to programs


STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Jason Knight to more easily facilitate the release of prisoners to transitional and rehabilitative programs.

Under the legislation (2022-H 7886), if a sentenced inmate is scheduled to be released from custody to a community partner for residential treatment or transitional housing, and the inmate’s release date is incompatible with the capacity, staffing or scheduling capabilities of the community facility, the inmate may be released up to three business days early, provided the inmate transitions directly from the Department of Corrections to the community partner facility.

Representative Knight introduced the bill at the request of the Department of Corrections.

“Ensuring that formerly incarcerated individuals transition back into society successfully is very important, particularly if they are in need of treatment. It isn’t always easy to get a bed in those programs. If a person needs to be released a day or two early in order to get into the program they need, the Department of Corrections should have the flexibility to make that call. Ultimately, it serves us better when people are fully prepared to reintegrate to their community when they are released,” said Representative Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren).

The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) is sponsoring the Senate companion (2022-S 2795) to the bill.