Justice Department

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state and the state corrections department, claiming employment discrimination. The Justice Department claims employment practices for hiring entry-level corrections officers violate the Civil Rights Act.

The lawsuit challenges the hiring practice at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections requiring applicants to take a written and video exam. The Justice Department claims that those exams do not help identify qualified candidates, but instead disproportionately screen out black and Hispanic candidates.

Rhode Island judge Mary Lisi is one of a dozen federal jurists asking the Justice Department to re-think its closure of a women’s prison in Danbury, Connecticut.  The judges are concerned about families having to travel long distances to see women inmates.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is transitioning its female prison in Danbury, Connecticut to an all-male facility. It’s the only federal women’s prison in the Northeast. It will forcing judges to sentence women inmates to prisons in Philadelphia, West Virginia or Alabama.

A Rhode Island man at the center of a capital punishment battle between the state and federal government has changed his plea to guilty to avoid the death penalty.