What Is It?
This program is designed to offer an alternative to traditional conviction, sentencing, and incarceration by providing eligible defendants with a framework of supervision and services in lie of incarceration and/or probation to help them make informed decisions, engage in positive behavior, and reduce the risk of recidivism.
What Are the Benefits?
The program staff works with participants in securing the necessary counseling and educational opportunities that will assist them in making informed decisions; engaging in positive behavior; and reducing the risk of recidivism. Moreover, individuals who successfully complete the program requirements are eligible to have the pending felony offense dismissed and/or sealed.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements?
An individual may be eligible if he/she stands charged in a District Court complaint, Superior Court indictment or a Superior Court information for a felony offense and is not otherwise disqualified.
What Can Disqualify You?
- A previous conviction or plea of nolo contendere to a disqualifying offense, as defined in 8-2-39.3 of Rhode Island General Laws.
- A current charge of a disqualifying offense as defined in this section.
- A prior conviction or plea of nolo contendere to two (2) or more felony offenses within the last five (5) years.
- A lengthy juvenile record; or
- A lengthy arrest record (in state or out-of-state), including those not resulting in any findings of guilt, depending on the reasons why convictions were not obtained.
What Are The Usual Requirements?
That decision is made by the court once you have been accepted into the program. It may range from substance abuse counseling, gamblers anonymous treatment, mental health counseling, community service (at a non-profit organization approved by the court), GED Program, English as a Second Language Program and victim restitution (if applicable). When you have completed a treatment and/or community service program, you must show proof of same to your Case Manager.
What is the length of the program?
The average amount of time that you will participate is six (6) months to (1) year.
What happens if I violate the conditions of the program?
You will be given an opportunity to be heard by your caseworker and the Court concerning the nature of the violation as well as any mitigating information. The Court will then make a decision concerning your continued participation in the program and whether any additional conditions need to be imposed. For extreme and repeated violations, you may be terminated from the program resulting in your case being returned to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution.