Ban the Box has passed!
RI has now become the 10th state to pass Ban the Box legislation! Governor Lincoln Chaffee signed the bill 7/15/13, the law goes into effect January 1, 2014.
This law will make it possible for thousands of job seekers, who have records, to get their foot in the door by removing the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” from job applications and postponing this question until later in the hiring process! But this new law doesn’t just remove a question off of a piece of paper.
What we did sends a new signal to our state and those with records who are trying to make an honest living: that we are more than a record, that we all have the right to feed our families, and that we have a great deal to offer our communities. And this could not have happened without your hard work!
Unshackling of Pregnant Prisoners: Onwards to Victory!
June 2011 Governor Chafee signed the unshackling pregnant prisoners legislation!
DARE’s Behind the Walls Committee is celebrating the passage of the Healthy Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act, legislation that ensures that pregnant prisoners are not shackled or restrained during transport, during medical visits or delivery. DARE collaborated with women’s health and civil rights advocates including the RI Nurses Association, the RI Medical Association, the 2 to 1 Coalition, the RI Progressive Democrats and others, but DARE provided unique and invaluable leadership to campaign.
In 2010 we won a big reform of the Probation Violation law (Rule 32f).
What the new law does:
If someone is accused of new charges and found innocent, it is now possible to have the probation violation dismissed after the new charges are dismissed (or after you win at trial). This is a huge victory after a five year fight to keep innocent people from violating their probation. Now people have a chance to keep their records clean and eventually get off probation. Big thanks to DARE members who spent long hours at legislative hearings and in the community educating folks about this issue and to Open Doors, Representative David Segal and Senator Rhoda Perry and all the allies in Rhode Island who fought hard to get this leigislation passed.
In 2010 we won an end to Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing in Rhode Island.
What the new law does:
Completely eliminates mandatory minimum drug sentencing in Rhode Island.
While many states are working to amend harsh mandatory minimums, after a five year fight, Rhode Island passed legislation eliminating this ineffective approach to dealing with drug related crimes and kicked this policy to the curb. Thank you to the DARE members who led the fight and to an extensive coalition of allies who stood against this draconian policy.
We are building the fight!