Thousands of high school and middle school students from across the state have come to prison Ė not as inmates, but as visitors to the Special Community Outreach Education (SCORE) Program and more recently, the Zero Fatalities Project presentation. Both programs are designed with public safety and awareness in mind and engage student and community groups through a panel presentation by inmates who discuss their poor choices and their current life behind bars. Bookings are being accepted for both throughout the year and the Department invites your interest and attendance.
A new brochure describing the SCORE Program has been designed and printed by AMICA Mutual Insurance Company and is posted on the Departmentís website under Media and Community Relations at www.doc.ri.gov. The program was established many years ago in partnership with the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers and the Rhode Island Family Court. Currently, it is held in the John J. Moran Medium Security Facility, the menís Maximum Security Facility, and the Dorothea Dix Womenís Minimum Security Facility. Middle school and high school students hear from a panel of inmates serving for a variety of crimes including murder, robbery, and drug offenses. Panelists talk candidly about the negative behaviors that led to their incarceration and what their life is like behind prison walls. They address such topics as peer pressure, gangs, bullying, truancy, and respect of authority figures.
Over 2,000 people from schools and organizations across the state have heard the sobering message of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and Attorney Generalís Office-sponsored Zero Fatalities Project. The program has been covered extensively by the press and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Because of the success of the spring 2008 launch of the program, bookings are being accepted throughout the year. One-hundred East Greenwich teens and parents attended last Thursday evening, and 200 students from Barrington and Narragansett will attend next Wednesday.
The Zero Fatalities Project is a public safety initiative aimed at raising awareness of the devastating consequences of underage drinking and driving and reckless driving. Audiences gather in the Visiting Room of the John J. Moran Medium Security Facility for a panel session of pre-selected inmates doing long sentences for DUI- and reckless driving-related offenses. The panelists speak candidly about their crimes, the effects of their poor choices, and their incarceration. A victim family member speaks about the devastating consequences these crashes have upon those whose loved ones are killed or permanently injured. Assistant Attorney General Jay Sullivan or his designee shares a slide show which includes statistics, news clippings, and photos from crash scenes. Guests have the opportunity to ask questions of all speakers.
The Zero Fatalities Project is a collaborative effort involving many agencies with an interest in this critical statewide issue. In addition to the Attorney Generalís Office and the Corrections Department, partners include the RI Family Court, the RI Police Chiefs Association, the RI State Police, MADD-RI, and the RI Department of Transportation.
Zero Fatalities Project panels, which can accommodate groups of up to 200 at a time, are available on Wednesday mornings, beginning at 9 a.m., or for parent and community groups on Thursdays after 6 p.m. Other time slots may be available by special arrangement.
During the school year, reimbursement for transportation to and from the ACI for schools requesting it is available through an agreement with the Department of Transportation and corporate and private donors. Those schools requesting reimbursement must submit bus receipts along with completed evaluations from the session. Parental permissions for students are the responsibility of the schools.
SCORE visits can be booked on Thursday or Friday from 9 a.m. Ė noon in the John J. Moran Medium Security Facility, on Thursdays from 9 a.m. Ė noon in the Maximum Security Facility, or on Fridays from 9 a.m. Ė noon in the Dorothea Dix Womenís Minimum Security Facility.
For more information or to book a session for the SCORE Program or the Zero Fatalities Project, please contact Tracey Z. Poole, Chief of Information and Public Relations, at (401) 462-2609 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on the programs is also available on the Departmentís website at www.doc.ri.gov.