Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that the State of Rhode Island has reached a settlement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of unintentional discrimination by the R.I. Department of Corrections (DOC) in the testing process for correctional officer candidates due to the DOC entrance exams having an adverse impact on African-American and Hispanic candidates.
Filed in 2014, the lawsuit sought damages that include job offers and back pay for individuals who did not meet the qualifications for the years 2000 – 2013.
The settlement in principle, which was reached after mediation overseen by U.S. District Court Magistrate Lincoln D. Almond, is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court.
While a settlement in principle has been reached by the parties, the details are being finalized and will be presented to the Court for review and approval.
"This settlement, once finalized and approved by the Court, resolves a significant legal and financial issue for the State, and allows the Department of Corrections to move forward with confidence in its hiring process," said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, whose office represented the State and the DOC in the litigation.
The settlement in principle will allow for the DOC to move forward with its current selection process, which is underway, without the cloud of this litigation.
"I commend the attorneys who worked on behalf of the State in this case, specifically Assistant Attorney General Neil F.X. Kelly and Special Assistant Attorney General Ariele Yaffe," added Attorney General Kilmartin.