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Probation & Parole: Collaborative Projects

Batterers Intervention Program Standards Oversight Committee

Since 1997, the Department of Corrections has been responsible for chairing the Batterers’ Intervention Program Standards Oversight Committee, which has statutory authority to establish minimum standards for programs that provide services to court-mandated domestic violence offenders. Most of the work of the Oversight Committee – which includes establishing minimum standards for batterers programs, certifying programs that meet the standards, monitoring and reviewing programs on an on-going basis, and ensuring that adjudicated batterers attend certified programs only – occurs within its Subcommittees, staffed by small groups of volunteers. A Review Committee handles the complex and time-consuming process of program monitoring and on-site program observation. A Rules and Standards Subcommittee reviews existing standards and the certification process in order to make recommendations for modifications. Any such changes to the standards must first be approved by the Oversight Committee as a whole, then brought to a public hearing, and finally filed with the Secretary of State.

Probation / Parole: Law Enforcement Partnerships

In recent years the Department of Corrections has formed partnerships with city and town police departments in the State. The benefits of these partnerships include: a) protecting the public by using the power of their respective line staff in complimentary ways; b) achieving the common goals of crime reduction; c) improving information sharing; and d) allowing for extension of partnership with criminal justice system, community organizations and delivery of services to specific neighborhoods.

The partnerships focus of coordination and collaboration between police and probation/parole in the following areas:

  • Information sharing: Police and Probation and Parole have developed procedures for the exchange of information that is of particular interest to both parties. Examples of information exchange include gang activity / affiliation, offenders due to be released, offenders with outstanding warrants.
  • Specialized Enforcement: Police, Adult Probation and Parole and other representatives of other community organizations and criminal justice system collaborate to reduce specific problems in communities. Examples include information sharing among these agencies, lowering overall levels of firearms violence by youths, supervision and monitoring of high-risk offenders.
  • Enhanced Supervision: These partnerships involve Police and Adult Probation and Parole performing joint supervision of selected offenders who are on probation or parole. Enhanced supervision is utilized on offenders who are deemed high risk and/or may be involved in criminal activity.

Partnerships between Probation & Parole and local law enforcement currently exist statewide.

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Critical Case Review Team

Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) and Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) established the Domestic Violence Crtical Case Review Team (DVCCRT) in 203. DVCCRT changed format in 2013, basing the current process on the Domestic Violce High Risk Team Model created by the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newbury, MA.

The DVCCRT identifies dangerous cases based on past incidents of abuse and know risk factors. Factors used to assess the offender as high risk include information from victims, police, advocates, court and/or current criminal charges and the Danger Assessment developed by Jacquelyn Campbell.

The Danger Assessment is a series of 20 questions about the offender's current and past violent behavior. The answers are then used to score the offender into four categories; variable danger, increased danger, severe danger and extreme danger.

Case referrals come from police departments, RIDOC, Attorney General's Office, DCYF and Advocacy Services. Once an offender has been brought to the attention of the Team, an assessment is performed and a case file is created for discussion at the next DVCCRT meeting. The Team discusses the options for action on each case. Team member(s) then volunteer to complete the action items prior to the next meeting. Each case selected for a plan will be followed through at each meeting and plans are adjusted according to need. All cases referred continue to be tracked up to and including post-disposition and post-release.

DVCCRT began reviewing cases under the current format in September of 2013. Since that time fifty-eight (58) cases have been reviewed by the team. Of those reviewed, thirty-five (35) scored in the highest category, extreme danger, with a score of eighteen (18) or higher; eight (8) cases are no longer under supervision due to sentence expiration; twenty-four (24) are incarcerated; and twenty-three (23) are under supervision by Probation and/or the Pre-Trial Services Unit.

Current Team members are: Attorney General's Office, Rhode Island Legal Services, Day One, EBC Center, Department of Corrections Re-Entry Services, Probation & Parole, Pre-Trial Services Unit, RI Supreme Court Domestic Violence Training & Monitoring Unit, RICADV, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, and Johnston and West Warwick Police Departments.

The Critical Case meetings are currently held every 4 - 6 weeks. All meetings are held on the ACI grounds in the DIX Building at 18 Wilma Schesler Lane, Cranston, RI 02920.

For information on the Domestic Violence Critical Case Team and/or to make a case referral contacts:

Emily Daniels, Probation & Parole Officer

J. Joseph Garrahy Judicial Complex

One Dorrance Plaza

Providence RI 02903 (401)458-3049 Fax #(401)453-6840

Emily.Daniels@doc.ri.gov

Reentry / Transition of Offenders from Prison to the Community

Adult Probation and Parole has been an active participant in the Department of Corrections Reentry Initiatives. Both the Associate Director of Community Corrections and one of the Assistant Administrators of Probation & Parole serve on the three-tiered reentry governance structure. While the overall goal of the reentry initiative is to develop an integrated statewide system that fosters the preparation and gradual transition of incarcerated individuals to productive/crime free lives, one particular focus is the enhancement of Adult Probation and Parole.

Additionally, since almost every offender released from incarceration will be placed on parole or serve probation, the linkage between Adult Probation & Parole and Transitional Services is essential. During this past year Adult Probation and Parole has enhanced linkages with Discharge Planning through informational training sessions, as well as site visits. Other accomplishments include creating a procedure to ensure that Probation and Parole staff are receiving discharge plans at least 30 days prior to an inmate’s release to ensure continuity of care.

Regional Re-entry Councils

The creation of regional Prisoner Rentry Councils is a critical piece of the state's strategy to accomplish our goals. The Councils are made up of local stakeholders including police, community services agencies, institutional and community corrections officials, formal and informal community leaders, offenders themselves and their families. The councils meet regualarly to discuss policy issues and support case management of individual offenders released from prison. Participation of the local stakeholders is the essential element of a Rentry Council's ability to provide assistance for transitioning offenders. Probation Supervisors across the state are involved in co-leading regional councils in the respective regions. The meetings include discharge planners, community partners and law enforcement representatives. Offenders leaving prison within 90 days are targeted for intervention. The purpose of the meetins is to plan as effectively as posbbile for these high risk offenders prior to their release while making sure services and supports are in place once they enter the community on Probation and Parole caseloads.

Informational Forums

These take place between Probation and Parole, community service providers and police. Forums are held throughout the state as a time saving measure to clearly explan, in a group setting, the conditions of probation and parole and the expectations of probationers and parolees while under supervision. Offenders are encouraged to succeed by being given valuable resources and being reminded that accountability expectations with be set high.

Volunteer-Intern and Training Coordinator

The Volunteer-Intern and Training Coordinator position was created in 2012. There is one Probation and Parole Officer assigned to this position that is responsible for the establishment, administration and operation of the DOC internship/volunteer program and to do related work as required. To determine Probation and Parole Unit's training nees; conduct trainings, coordinate training activities; develop/obtain necessary training materials; arrange special training courses using services of lcoal educators and specialists in pertinet fields; evaluate effectiveness of training programsand keep Administrators informed; maintain training records and evaluations, and is responsible for the preparation of training materials (e.g. training guides, materials and related material).

Institutional-Based Probation & Parole Officer

The instituationally-based Probation& Parole Officer position was created 2012. This position was created to implement strategies for the rehabiliation and transition of offenders to the community; to apply probation/parole laws, policies and procedures to case managment practice, treatment planning and referral of offenders to rehabilitation programs; to assist offenders in the successful transition to the community through referral to community-based resources for services such as housing, employment, mental health, substance abuse and eduational/training services. To provide case management services to offenders being released from the ACI, conduct investigations and compile reports as needed; to coordinate services with RIDOC Transitional Service Unit and community intake services; to maintain case records; to be familiar with and implement agency policies and procedures; to be responsible for the day-to-day management of offenders (transition in the community) on probation or parole; to coordinate and engage in community-based partnerships with law enforcement and services providers; to conduct facility-based activities (e.g. forums, in-service traiings, on working with such offenders being released from the ACI and/or at the high risk of incarceration. They serve as a resource regarding mental health services. There are 62 offenders classified in this category as of July 2015.

Youthful Offenders/Safe Streets

This program initiated during 2000. This specialized caseload targets certain youthful offenders on probation in the Providence Region. The probation officers work with law enforcement to monitor and service youthful offenders as well as to provide a coordinated response to non-compliance with court orders and/or criminal activity. Specialized supervision of offenders includes frequent community contact, monitoring compliance and enforcement of conditions of probation. Through regular, planned communication the probatoin officer shares information about particular cases and neighborhood issues. Officers go out into the community, both to visit offenders in their homes and to maintain community visibility. Through special court ordered conditions of probation, the teams enforce such requirements as curfews and danger zone exclusive. By such means, problem behavior is identified and sanctions imposed. The average caseload for the Safe Streets Unit (Adult Probation and Parole) is approximately 1:118. As of July 2015, there are approximately 118 offenders assigned to this unit.

Adult Drug Court

The goal of the Rhode Island Drug Court is to provide intensive supervised treatment for non-violent drug offenders as an alternative to incarceration. This project was initiated during 2001. The Department of Corrections in conjunction with Providence Superior Court, MHRH/ Substance Abuse, Attorney General's Office and Public Defender's Office comprise the Drug Court Team. In 2004, this program was expaned to allow for expansion of the Drug Court to Kent County Courthouse, Washington County Courthouse and Newport. There are 1.o probation officer assigned to this unit on a part-time basis, supervisiong approximately 168 offenders. Case management responsibilities include: a) providing a bridge between the treatment system and the criminal justice system; b) ensuring that offenders meet the criminal justice requirements and treatment requirements of drug court and c) providing information to the courts regarding participants progress in the program (case reviews).