Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A Brown University psychiatrist plans to test an intervention to prevent suicide among hundreds of Rhode Island inmates. 

Brown and Michigan State Universities are sharing a $6.8 million dollar federal grant to test the idea that developing a safety plan with an inmate before leaving jail can reduce the risk of suicide. Brown psychiatrist Lauren Weinstock says people behind bars are already more likely to struggle with mental illness or substance abuse.


Hundreds of people convene Friday at Roger Williams University Law School for a conference on the cost of incarceration. The event will bring local and national experts together to discuss the problems in the criminal justice system.

Judge Judith Savage is a justice in residence at Roger Williams, and she organized this conference. She said Rhode Island is in the top five states when it comes to the number of residents on probation. That means they are more likely to struggle to find work or get an education.

That's the gist of the question a Bradley Hasbro Research Center scientist is asking as she embarks on a project to study 400 Rhode Island teens after their first brush with the law.