The Behind the Walls Committee is fighting to change Rhode Island’s probation system – one of the worst in the country. Under our current system, people on probation are typically held for at least two weeks if accused of a 32F violation. In those two weeks, folks can lose their jobs, housing, custody of their kids and more. Even if the violation is later cleared, people have already undergone traumatic losses. By threatening individuals with incarceration, the courts coerce people into plea deals, including longer probation sentences.
Our BAIL ON 32 bill would require the courts to grant bail or personal recognizance to those accused of violations, so that they can fight new charges and violations from within their communities instead of behind bars.
Images from the End Mass Incarceration rally in April 2021, where Behind the Walls members spoke on the need for probation reform.