- Associated Press - Friday, October 6, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed a package of bills that seek to reform the probation and parole system.

Raimondo signed the legislation Thursday, saying Rhode Island keeps too many people on probation and parole and doesn’t do enough to address mental health issues that lead to incarceration.

More than 20,000 residents are on probation.

Raimondo says the laws will make it a fairer, more effective system.

She says courts will be given critical information about an individual’s substance abuse and mental health needs and the Department of Corrections will have to conduct needs assessments to make probation supervision more effective.

A diversion program will be created for Superior Court.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin objected, calling it “feel-good legislation” that could hurt victims and risk public safety.

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