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Rhode Island Court Records

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The Rhode Island State Prison System

In Rhode Island, the prison facilities that make up the state correctional system aim to protect state citizens by removing criminals from society, preventing future crime, changing criminals to law-abiding citizens, and punishing them for their crimes against society.

These facilities are managed by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC). This is the government agency tasked with ensuring that the prison system’s purposes are fulfilled.

What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison in Rhode Island?

The primary difference between a jail and a prison is the length of stay for which they are designed. While jail is a place of confinement for individuals held in lawful custody, a prison is a confinement facility for convicted criminals. However, Rhode Island uses a unified correctional system, where all offenders are held, regardless of their crime or length of sentence. As a result, there is no significant difference between the facilities.

How Many Prisons are in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) manages and accommodates state prisons in the department’s headquarters located in Cranston, Rhode Island. These adult correctional institutions constitute 7 prison buildings, five for males and two for females.

Male prisons

  • Anthony P. Travisono Intake Service Center
  • High-Security Center
  • Rhode Island Maximum Security Prison
  • John J. Moran Medium Security Facility
  • Minimum Security

Female Prisons

  • Gloria McDonald Maximum and Medium Security Facility
  • Dorothea Dix Minimum Security Facility / Bernadette Building

Closed Facilities with maximum security

  • Donald Price Medium Security Facility

How do I search for an Inmate in Rhode Island State Prison?

The Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RI DOC) provides an inmate locator that contains information about all incarcerated individuals in the state. This database provides information about the facility to which an inmate was assigned, the inmate’s current location, and even facilities to which they may be transferred. The locator also provides information on the inmates’ race, birth date, release date, and conviction details.

Inquirers can find inmates in Rhode Island by searching this database with the inmates’ last and first names in the lookup bar. The information provided is mostly accurate because the department updates the details daily. Inmate location can also be tracked by visiting the prison facility and directly requesting information about a confined inmate from the prison officials.

As an alternative, Rhode Island criminal records provide information on arrests and incarceration within the state. The local police department can give criminal records for inspection and copying, provided it is not sealed by court order. Requesters will be required to provide valid identification and pay $5 for the record with a check, money order, or credit card. They can also order by mail, with a notarized release form, a photocopy of a valid ID, a $5.00 check or money order, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Mailing address
Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General,
4 Howard Avenue, Cranston,
RI 02920.

Also, criminal case information may be accessible on the Rhode Island judiciary public portal database.

Are Incarceration Records Public in Rhode Island?

Pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act (APRA), members of the public are granted access to a myriad of government records generated within the Rhode Island state’s limits. These records include information on arrests, convictions, trials, sentencing, incarceration, parole, and probation of inmates within the state’s correctional system.

The law aims to make elected officials accountable to the public and inform the general public of the government decisions that directly affect their safety.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Look Up Jail Records in Rhode Island?

Although there are 5 counties in Rhode Island, there are no local jails and detention facilities. Instead, the offenders that are supposed to be housed in the jails are held in prison facilities, along with other law breakers. These are usually offenders awaiting trial or those that have been sentenced to 1 year or less. The state uses a unified correctional system that incorporates the state-level prison and the local jail system, therefore, the offenders are held in the same facilities. As a result, jail records are obtainable from the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RI DOC) database or the statewide portal for criminal court records called Smart search. Typically, these records provide details such as;

  • Charges
  • Disposition
  • Bail or bond amount
  • Photographs
  • Booking Information
  • Release Date

Can Jail Records be Expunged in Rhode Island?

Yes, jail records can be expunged in Rhode Island. Although the state has some of the most liberal expungement laws in the country, they are not liberal enough to allow expungement of certain felony convictions. Asides from that, the state provides 2 possible means for removing arrest and conviction records.

  • Motion to seal
  • Motion to expunge

A motion to seal removes criminal charges records, while a motion to expunge removes records of criminal convictions. Therefore, if an arrested individual is acquitted of a crime by case dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict after trial, the individual can file a motion to seal. This motion does not require any waiting period; therefore, it can be filed immediately after acquittal.

Motion to expunge applies for first time felony and misdemeanor convictions. This requires a waiting period of 5 years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies. However, crimes of violence are not expungeable under state expungement laws. These include murder, manslaughter, first-degree arson, and kidnapping, etc.

Generally, individuals seeking expungement orders cannot have prior felony convictions; must be of good or rehabilitated character and morals; must have no pending charges; and must fulfill all court-ordered sentences.

To file the motion to seal or expunge, interested offenders must:

  • Draft and file a Motion to Expunge with the court where the case was initially adjudicated. Typically, the court clerk will schedule the motion hearing within 10 days from the day of filing.
  • Serve the notice of the motion on the arresting agency and the Office of the Attorney General.
  • Argue the case before the judge at trial.

The judge will determine if the offender has been rehabilitated before granting an expungement order. If the judge grants the Motion to Expunge, a $100 fee is due to the court.

The order granting the expungement should then be served on the arresting agency and the Bureau of Criminal Identifications to have all the case records destroyed and deleted completely.

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