House backs restrictions on 'good time' credits


The Rhode Island House voted to prevent murderers, child molesters and other violent offenders from leaving prison early for good behavior.

The legislation passed the House on Thursday. It was prompted by the release last year of Michael Woodmansee, who served about 29 years of a 40-year sentence in the killing of 5-year-old Jason Foreman of South Kingstown in 1975. Woodmansee agreed to remain in custody at a psychiatric facility.

The legislation would prohibit those convicted of violent crimes from earning good-time credits. Offenders could still earn early release credits for participating in rehabilitation programs.

State Rep. Teresa Tanzi, a Democrat who represents Narragansett and South Kingstown, sponsored the measure on behalf of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

The Senate has passed similar legislation but must sign off on the House version.

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