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Lawmakers praise new law to create court diversion program

July 21, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are praising the signing of legislation that establishes guidelines for a diversion program within the Superior Court.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the legislation Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey said Friday it’s another step forward for criminal justice reform because the program will offer supervision and services instead of incarceration.

McCaffrey, of Warwick, sponsored the legislation, along with Rep. Robert Jacquard in the House.

Jacquard, a Cranston Democrat, says it’s imperative that the state helps people with addiction issues get healthy rather than incarcerating them at great cost to the taxpayers.

McCaffrey sponsored legislation in 2017 creating the Superior Court diversion program. This year’s legislation outlined the specifics of the program, including who would be eligible for it and how it would be administered.

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