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Rhode Island Laws and Programs

  • By: Gordon Arthur Crews
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

As with many states, Rhode Island has been forced by financial deficits and prison overcrowding to search for more effective approaches to their “drug problem.” There has also been the realization that continuing the “get tough on crime strategies” may do more harm than good. While Rhode Island experiences a much lower crime rate than most states, it still maintains a very high recidivism rate. This is a very serious problem focusing mostly on the “poorer” parts of the state. There is a growing emphasis in Rhode Island for state officials to develop criminal justice approaches that deliver savings and increase public safety while at the same time curtailing rising incarceration rates. Initial efforts to change existing policies and practices can be found in the ...

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