Diversion Program Regulations Revised Under New State Law

It is no longer mandatory for someone participating in a criminal justice system "diversion program" in Rhode Island to submit a DNA sample.

State Representative Leonela Felix of Pawtucket said she introduced the bill that became law this summer on behalf of the Rhode Island Judiciary.

Felix says she personally benefited from a diversion program, which is an alternative to a traditional sentence handed down by a court.

“Diversion programs play a critical role in the justice system, and as someone who personally benefited from attending a diversion program, I am proud to do my part to improve the system for participants and workers alike.” said Representative Felix, who introduced the bill at the behest of the Rhode Island Judiciary. “The legislation requires these collections from those who either plead guilty, are convicted of a violent crime or have served time in prison for a violent crime. This is also a good cost-saving measure, since there is currently a massive backlog of DNA collections.”

The DNA sample rule still applies to people who have been convicted, pleaded guilty to, or served prison time for a crime of violence.

(Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)


Photo: Getty Images

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