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Reducing prison population not necessary at this time, says Governor Raimondo

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“You know we are working on that,” said Governor Raimondo. “That isn’t something we think is necessary at this time. But of course we are keeping our eye on that population and frankly all other congregant care populations.”


During her daily COVID-19 press conference, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo answered two questions from UpriseRI based on the concerns of community groups in the state. Under the new procedure for submitting questions to the press conference that is now held remotely, reporters and news organizations have to submit their questions online, and then they are taken up by the Governor. Reporters are asked to submit no more than two questions. Capitol TV host Margie O’Brien asked the questions in the room.

You can see the video of the press conference here

The first question asked on behalf of UpriseRI was for a response to a coalition of groups demanding the reduction of the incarcerated population throughout the pandemic.

See: Coalition demands changes to law enforcement and imprisonment in wake of pandemic

“You know we are working on that,” said Governor Raimondo. “That isn’t something we think is necessary at this time. But of course we are keeping our eye on that population and frankly all other congregant care populations.”



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The next question asked on behalf of UpriseRI was for the Governor’s reaction to a different coalition’s request that Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green post on RIDE’s website a copy of every school district’s remote learning plan.

See: Groups request that RIDE make school districts’ remote learning plans publicly available

“That is the first time I’ve heard that,” said Governor Raimondo. “That is something that probably should be handled on a district by district basis. Also, let me be clear about this. This is a new thing that we’re trying. And although every City and Town has given us their district learning plan, it’s the first time that they’ve done this. So the plan that’s been submitted – We’re doing this for kind of a ten-day trial period – I suspect that the plans they submitted are going to look very different at the end of their ten-day trial period. So I certainly would urge every single City and Town to be as transparent a possible. Parents need to know what’s the plan and what they can expect for their students, students need to know. So I’d say yes for transparency, though I would say let’s give these teachers and schools a little time in the next two weeks to refine their plan and give them a chance to make it work.”

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com