According to a North Kingstown police report, a man released in a COVID-19 court order setting him and 51 others free was arrested for swinging a sword and threatening to kill a woman, and resisting arrest. The report also noted that the man physically and verbally threatened the officer making the arrest. While the inmates released were currently serving time for non-violent offenses, a review of their records demonstrates that many of them had committed violent crimes in the past.  For example, the man at issue, while currently serving time for the misdemeanor charge of making a false 911 call, has a five year criminal history, including felony assault and breaking and entering, among other crimes. Many would argue that these past crimes should also be considered when making release decisions.

Crises bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Going forward, background screening will help find those to whom this pandemic brought out the worst.

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Rhode Island Inmate Re-Arrested After Being Released from Prison