With summer passing quickly and the start of a new school year just around the corner, an evening presentation of The Zero Fatalities Project has been scheduled for Thursday, August 14th, at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public, but all guests must register by calling Tracey Z. Poole, the RIDOC’s Chief of Information and Public Information, at (401) 462-2609 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the number of guests and the full name and date of birth for all adults ages 18 and over. All guests must be middle school age or older and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
About 26 Rhode Island high schools and organizations over 1,600 people heard the sobering message of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and Attorney General’s Office-sponsored Zero Fatalities Project by the close of this spring’s prom and graduation season. The program has been covered extensively by the press and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Plans are underway to continue offering presentations throughout the 2008-2009 school year.
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. During the school year, the initiative involves busing students from schools across the state to the John J. Moran Medium Security facility at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) to attend panel sessions 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 General’s 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, will be scheduled on Wednesday mornings, beginning at 9 a.m. during the school year. Other time slots may be available by special arrangement. Evening sessions will also be scheduled for interested parent and community groups from around the region on Thursdays starting at 6 p.m. or later.
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.