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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average age of an inmate at the RI Department of Corrections?.
The majority of inmates fall within the age range of 20 – 39 years old with an average age of approximately 36 for both males and females. For more information please refer to page 12 of our annual Population Report FY17PDF.

What is the racial breakdown of inmates at the RI Department of Corrections?
On average, the majority of sentenced inmates are white (43%), followed by black and Hispanic (28.5% and 25.0%, respectively). Please note: Hispanic is recorded as a race rather than an ethnicity. Therefore, we are unable to determine whether inmates identifying themselves as Hispanic are white or black. Additionally, those who identify themselves as white or black may also be Hispanic. For more information please refer to page 13 of our annual Population Report FY17PDF.

What type of offenses are inmates at the RI Department of Corrections sentenced on?
The majority of male and female inmates are sentenced on violent offenses. For more information please refer to page 14 of our annual Population Report FY17PDF.

What is the RI Department of Corrections recidivism rate?
Of the sentenced offenders released in 2013, 50% were returned to sentenced status within 36 months of release. For more information please refer to our CY14 Recidivism BriefPDF.

How many offenders are committed to the RI Department of Corrections in one year?
From FY11 to FY17, the RI Department of Corrections saw a decrease of -16.6% in the number of commitments. The total number of commitments for FY17 was 12,927. For more information please refer to our annual Admissions & Releases CY17PDF report and our annual Population Report FY17PDF.

What is the RI Department of Corrections population?
Over the course of FY17, the RI Department of Corrections was averaging approximately 2,958 inmates (approximately 79% sentenced and 21% awaiting trail). For more information please refer to our Average Monthly Population FY16-17PDF.

What is average sentence received for offenders at the RI Department of Corrections?
On average an offender is sentenced to approximately 23 months, while the majority of those committed to the RI Department of Corrections receive a sentence of 6 months or less. For more information please refer to page 17 of our annual Population Report FY17PDF.

How many offenders are on Probation or Parole?
There are just about 23,081 offenders on Probation or Parole under the RI Department of Corrections jurisdiction at any given time. For more information please refer to pages 24-25 of our annual Population Report FY17PDF.

How long does it take from submission of the Research Proposal to approval/denial?
Generally it takes about one month for Non-Medical research to be reviewed and approved or denied. Behavioral and Medical research can take as long as two months to be processed as it has to be reviewed by the prison’s Medical Research Advisory Group, which meets bi-monthly.

How do I know if I need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval?
RIDOC adheres to Federal Regulations (45CFR46) for the protection of human research subjects. Therefore, if you are gathering information directly from inmates or employees of the RIDOC (e.g., surveys/interviews) or you are planning to research an intervention with inmates or employees (e.g., a group treatment), you need IRB approval. The only research exempt from IRB review is research that analyzes secondary data (i.e., data that will be extracted from a data source, requiring no direct contact with inmates of staff).

Do I have to follow the Research Policy if I am a student conducting research for course credit?
Yes, students are required to follow the same policy. In addition, students are required to provide the name and contact information of the academic instructor/professor who is supervising the student. RIDOC will make the academic supervisor aware of any concerns related to the student’s research.