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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rhode Island Judge Keeps Teens Out Of Prison

A Rhode Island judge ruled that felony cases brought while state law briefly treated 17-year-olds as adults would be dismissed or transferred to Family Court. (This article is from 2008)

The judge, Daniel A. Procaccini of Superior Court, ruled that about 100 pending cases would be dismissed. Cases in which a grand jury has returned an indictment will be transferred to Family Court, but they can be returned to Superior Court if the attorney general thinks the crime is egregious and should be elevated to the adult level.

“It is apparent that defendants’ rights were violated by their direct placement in the adult criminal system,” Judge Procaccini wrote.

The dismissed cases can be refiled in juvenile court, according to the ruling.

Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch appealed the ruling Tuesday, saying in a statement that it puts cases that should be in Superior Court in limbo.

“This state of uncertainty is not fair to victims and their families,” Mr. Lynch said.

The initial change in law, which took effect July 1, was meant to save millions of dollars a year by transferring juvenile defenders to the state prison. The law set off a furor among law enforcement officials and children’s advocates, and failed to take into account that juveniles are housed in protective custody, which is more expensive.

The legislature repealed the law in mid-November, but the change did not apply retroactively.

--------------------------------Note> That this law went into affect to save the state money! (That is something all the states should be ashamed off) The Federal Government gives states grants ~Funding in the millions for juvenile programs~That alone should set the kids aside from the adult system. Kids in the system 7 out of 10 times are abused before they get there then subject to abuse by other kids & sexual assault by staff) Then for our leaders to take the easy way out & let the kids pay the price for political corruption & Governmental Spending~Young adults do not belong in prisons with adult criminals.

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