Divert more convicts from prison to alcohol and drug treatment, increase the number on home confinement, and offer some convicts the opportunity to earn more good-time days toward release than current law allows. The Providence Journal says those were among alternatives presented behind closed doors yesterday to the Rhode Island governor, key lawmakers, and other major players in the state's law and order community by an arm of the Council of State Governments.
Governor Donald Carcieri's proposed budget for the year beginning July 1 hinges on the release of 500 state prisoners. A proposal from the council’s Justice Center yesterday suggested a 10-point plan for cutting the prison population by 502 inmates, to save a potential $4 million. The state prison population is projected to increase 21 percent over the next 10 years. Carcieri said most of the proposals “seem very reasonable and thoughtful,” and, in his mind, no threat to public safety because they are aimed at “a population that we know have not committed violent crimes.”