End The Violence RI http://endtheviolenceri.com Tue, 08 Jan 2013 17:19:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Union slams Parole Board with campaign http://endtheviolenceri.com/union-slams-parole-board-with-campaign/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/union-slams-parole-board-with-campaign/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:15:35 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=202

Officers say board members should resign

Updated: Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012, 7:32 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012, 7:21 PM EST

By Bill Tomison with reporting by Steve Nielsen

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, or RIBCO, is coming out swinging after a Target 12 story of a so-called “thrill killer’s” early release. The group wants members of the Rhode Island Parole Board to step down, and is calling attention to the situation with a media and direct mail campaign.

The correctional officers’ union says the Parole Board keeps making decisions that are too lenient, and the Board is unaccountable. The union also takes issue with provisions under which an inmate may have time taken off a sentence for good behavior.

Alfred Brissette was convicted of killing Jeannette Descoteaux back in June 1999, having lured her with another man to a wooded area of Burrillville. The pair beat her to death. Last month, the Parole Board granted Brissette an early release from prison – so he’d serve only 13 years of a 35-year sentence.

After the Target 12 story aired, the Parole Board decided to review its decision, meaning Brissette remains behind bars. But that’s nowhere near good enough for the correctional officer’s union; the entire system needs overhauling.

David Mellon, the president of RIBCO, says the four members of the parole board who voted for the early release need to step down. “Anybody who voted for him to be released should resign or be removed, absolutely,” he said Tuesday.

The union is now launching a campaign online, on the air and in your mailbox — spotlighting criminals like Brissette.

“They have no business getting out of jail after the horrific crime they have committed,” Mellon said.

The campaign consists of postcard fliers, a web site,endtheviolenceri.com, television and radio ads, as well as a “Rally for Safe Communities” set for this coming Saturday.

“They were all released from prison early… and they all killed people after their release,” an announcer says in one of the commercials.

To be clear, the Brotherhood says these men are the worst of the worst, and should be treated as special cases. “We’re not opposed to good time [statutes]… but these individuals — the horrific crimes — they should be exempt from good time,” Mellon said.

The Parole Board has refused to comment. But, the members will meet Monday to reconsider the early release decision.

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Corrections officers union criticizes early-release policies http://endtheviolenceri.com/corrections-officers-union-criticizes-early-release-policies/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/corrections-officers-union-criticizes-early-release-policies/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:14:10 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=200 Mike McKinney PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers said Monday that it is launching a campaign critical of what it calls the state’s “dangerous” early release provisions for inmates. Union President David Mellon cites the case of Alfred Brissette, who was scheduled for parole this [...]]]>

December 10, 2012 5:46 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers said Monday that it is launching a campaign critical of what it calls the state’s “dangerous” early release provisions for inmates.

Union President David Mellon cites the case of Alfred Brissette, who was scheduled for parole this month about 13 years into a 35-year sentence for second-degree murder. The Parole Board earlier in the year had set a December release for Brissette, but the board chairman decided instead the board will review the issue.

Parole Board Administrator Matt Degnan said the reason was that a question or questions emerged about Brissette’s after-prison plan. Such plans usually include where a person will reside and what he or she will do for employment.

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Prison officers call RI release program ‘lenient’ http://endtheviolenceri.com/prison-officers-call-ri-release-program-lenient/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/prison-officers-call-ri-release-program-lenient/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:13:34 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=198

December 11, 2012, 8:00 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The union representing state prison officers is launching a campaign criticizing what it says is Rhode Island’s dangerous early-release program.

The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/yXauJR) that the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers cited a decision, later put on hold, to release Alfred Brissette Jr. more than 20 years before his original release date. He pleaded no contest to murder for killing a woman in 1999 that the state Supreme Court called a “thrill killing.”

The union said Monday that the Parole Board is lenient and unaccountable. The union also takes issue with provisions under which an inmate may have time taken off a sentence for good behavior.

Parole Board Administrator Matt Degnan said he and Board Chairman Kenneth Walker would not comment.

The union said it will run TV, radio and online ads.

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Correctional Officers launch campaign against Parole Board http://endtheviolenceri.com/correctional-officers-launch-campaign-against-parole-board/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/correctional-officers-launch-campaign-against-parole-board/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:12:48 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=196 End the Violence, RI, has sprung up after the Parole Board approved the release of Alfred Brissette, [...]]]> 9:22AM Tuesday
December 11, 2012
By Dee DeQuattro, WPRO News

The Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers (RIBCO) has begun a public safety campaign petitioning the Rhode Island Parole Board to stop being lenient with violent offenders.

The campaign, End the Violence, RI, has sprung up after the Parole Board approved the release of Alfred Brissette, a man convicted of murdering a woman by violently beating her with a lug wrench for the thrill of the kill, after only serving 13 years of a 35 year sentence. After public outcry the parole board decided to halt Brissette’s release and revisit the situation later this month.

The campaign includes online, T.V., and radio ads, a petition to the parole board, and a direct mailer. The group has also planned a rally for Saturday Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. at the Donald Price Medium Security Prison.

The ads highlight several violent criminals including Freddie Bishop, Andrew Jett,, and Jason Pleau who were all released from prison early only to commit murder after their release.

“In the last few years, we have seen some of the most violent criminals released early because of a careless Parole Board and a lenient Good Time law. The latest example of this carelessness is Alfred Brissette, also known as ‘The Thrill Killer,’ who the Parole Board recently granted early release,” said David Mellon, President of RIBCO.

Mellon said between the Parole Boards policies and the state’s “good time” law Rhode Island communities are being put at risk. “These policies are allowing for vicious criminals to be released into our neighborhoods. Just because they behave in prison does not make them fit to be released. The intent of this campaign is to notify the public of how their safety is being put at risk-and highlight some especially egregious examples like Freddie Bishop, Andrew Jett, Matthew Komrowski and Jason Pleau, all of whom were released early-and all of whom murdered people not long after they were released. We want the powers that be to know that we are going to hold them accountable in the public eye,” said Mellon.

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Correctional Officers Union Blasts ‘Unaccountable’ Parole Board http://endtheviolenceri.com/correctional-officers-union-blasts-unaccountable-parole-board/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/correctional-officers-union-blasts-unaccountable-parole-board/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:11:44 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=194 Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GoLocalProv News Team

 The Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers (RIBCO) kicked off a public safety campaign today titled “End The Violence, Rhode Island” to shed light on the state’s lenient and unaccountable Parole Board and also the state’s so-called “Good Time” law, both of which have let violent criminals back on the streets far in advance of their release dates if they behave in prison.

David Mellon, President of RIBCO, stated, “In the last few years, we have seen some of the most violent criminals released early because of a careless Parole Board and a lenient Good Time law. The latest example of this carelessness is Alfred Brissette, also known as ‘The Thrill Killer,’ who the Parole Board recently granted early release. Here is a guy who kidnapped a random woman, beat her over the head with a lug wrench, tried to sever her spine with a shovel, and then dug a hole to bury her in. And he did it for fun. This guy was going to be released by the Parole Board after serving only thirteen years because they were ‘impressed with inmate’s program participation and his documented plan for change.’ Now–only because of a public outcry–they decided to revisit this issue and hold a new hearing.”

Mellon continued, “These policies are allowing for vicious criminals to be released into our neighborhoods. Just because they behave in prison does not make them fit to be released. The intent of this campaign is to notify the public of how their safety is being put at risk–and highlight some especially egregious examples like Freddie Bishop, Andrew Jett, Matthew Komrowski and Jason Pleau, all of whom were released early–and all of whom murdered people not long after they were released. We want the powers that be to know that we are going to hold them accountable in the public eye.”

The campaign kicks off today with online ads, a petition, television ads, radio ads, a direct mail program into targeted areas and a coordinated social media program. The campaign is ongoing and will continue to inform the public when dangerous criminals are indefensibly let out early because of these policies.

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End The Violence Press Release http://endtheviolenceri.com/end-the-violence-press-release/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/end-the-violence-press-release/#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2012 00:35:19 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=133 Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers announces public safety campaign highlighting dangerous early release policies

Cranston, RI – The Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers (RIBCO) kicked off a public safety campaign today titled “End The Violence, Rhode Island” to shed light on the state’s lenient and unaccountable Parole Board and also the state’s so-called “Good Time” law, both of which have let violent criminals back on the streets far in advance of their release dates if they behave in prison.

David Mellon, President of RIBCO, stated, “In the last few years, we have seen some of the most violent criminals released early because of a careless Parole Board and a lenient Good Time law. The latest example of this carelessness is Alfred Brissette, also known as ‘The Thrill Killer,’ who the Parole Board recently granted early release. Here is a guy who kidnapped a random woman, beat her over the head with a lug wrench, tried to sever her spine with a shovel, and then dug a hole to bury her in. And he did it for fun. This guy was going to be released by the Parole Board after serving only thirteen years because they were ‘impressed with inmate’s program participation and his documented plan for change.’ Now–only because of a public outcry–they decided to revisit this issue and hold a new hearing.”

Mellon continued, “These policies are allowing for vicious criminals to be released into our neighborhoods. Just because they behave in prison does not make them fit to be released. The intent of this campaign is to notify the public of how their safety is being put at risk–and highlight some especially egregious examples like Freddie Bishop, Andrew Jett, Matthew Komrowski and Jason Pleau, all of whom were released early–and all of whom murdered people not long after they were released. We want the powers that be to know that we are going to hold them accountable in the public eye.”

The campaign kicks off today with online ads, a petition, television ads, radio ads, a direct mail program into targeted areas and a coordinated social media program. The campaign is ongoing and will continue to inform the public when dangerous criminals are indefensibly let out early because of these policies.

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‘Thrill kill’ murderer granted early release in RI http://endtheviolenceri.com/thrill-kill-murderer-granted-early-release-in-ri/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/thrill-kill-murderer-granted-early-release-in-ri/#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2012 00:27:37 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=125 Inmate serves 13 years of 35-year sentence

FOXProvidence.com

Published : Monday, 26 Nov 2012, 5:23 PM EST

  • By Tim White, Target 12 Investigator

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Woonsocket man convicted in the “thrill” killing of a woman at random has been granted parole and is set to be released from prison in December, decades early.

Alfred Brissette, 38, pleaded no contest to murder charges in the 1999 killing of Jeanette Descoteaux, also of Woonsocket. Court records show Brissette and Marc Girard lured the woman to the woods of Burrillville with a promise to supply her with cocaine.

According to court documents, Brissette and Girard “had conspired to kill and bury a random female victim” 18 months prior to the murder.

“Brissette had even bought a shovel for the express purpose of digging a grave to bury whoever they killed, according to the police,” records from a 2002 R.I. Supreme Court case reveal.

According to a graphic description of the crime, Girard left the vehicle to relieve himself when the three arrived at George Washington Park in Burrillville. Brissette then demanded Descoteaux have sex with him in exchange for cocaine.

“After that, Brissette reached into the back of the Blazer for a plastic bag containing a lug wrench and smashed it into Jeanette’s head,” according to court records. “Jeanette was stunned and asked Brissette what he was doing, to which he responded by again striking her head with the lug wrench.”

The victim screamed begging Brissette to stop, at which point Girard returned, according to police records quoted in the court documents. Descoteaux promised she wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened if they drove her to the hospital.

“In the meantime, Brissette, who had been rummaging about in the Blazer, reappeared and handed the shovel to Girard and directed him to dig a hole,” court documents state. “Suddenly realizing the implications of what was happening, the wounded and bleeding Jeanette sprang to her feet and began to run for her life.”

Both men chased Descoteaux – who was still naked – through the woods and eventually caught up, according to court documents. They began beating her with a lug wrench and a shovel.

Court records state Girard told police in his confession that he dealt the fatal blow: “I was just trying to put her out of her misery. I didn’t want her laying out there for days still alive, bleeding.”

Girard was sentenced to life plus 10 years and later lost a bid for a new trial. The Supreme Court described the murder as a “brutal, barbaric and utterly senseless thrill kill.’”

Brissette was sentenced to 60 years with 35 to serve and was scheduled to be released in 2034, but Brissette earned more than 1,600 days of “good time” credit putting his release date to 2028, according to the R.I. Department of Corrections.

The Rhode Island Parole Board granted Brissette early release earlier this year.

Parole Board Administrator Matthew Degnan did not have an exact date for Brissette’s release and said he isn’t allowed to make details about it public, but he said Brissette will be supervised as a parolee until 2028.

In a statement, the parole board said Brissette had never been disciplined in his 14 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.

“The board was impressed with inmate’s program participation and his documented plan for change,” according to the statement. “Further, the Parole Board did not receive [any] objection letter from the [attorney general’s] office or the victim’s family.”

Target 12 has learned Descoteaux’s mother died in 2008.

Amy Kempe, spokesperson for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, said: ”It is up to the Department of Corrections and the parole board to use their best judgment in terms of rehabilitation and parole. The parole board has the facts of the case. They have all the information to make their decisions.”

Carolyn Medeiros, executive director of the Alliance for Safe Communities, said Brissette should not have “been cut any deals.”

“This is a travesty to the law. This was someone’s daughter,” Medeiros said. “An individual like this, we’re truly concerned what’s going to happen down the line with him back in our communities.”‘

Medeiros said she was tipped off to the parole board’s vote and wanted to bring Brissette’s release to the public’s attention.

“They took a woman out to the woods, they repeatedly beat her with a lug wrench, one of them tried to sever her spine with a shovel, she ran through the woods naked to get away from them,” Medeiros said. “He’s done a good job of manipulating the prison system, and he’ll be out early now.”

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Rhode Island Town Fights the Release of a Child Killer http://endtheviolenceri.com/news-story/ http://endtheviolenceri.com/news-story/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 18:25:08 +0000 adamwotherspoon http://endtheviolenceri.com/?p=66 New York Times

By ABBY GOODNOUGH and KATIE ZEZIMA Published: March 9, 2011

The impending early release of a convicted child killer has stirred outrage in Rhode Island and sent state officials scrambling for alternatives to freeing him.

The prisoner, Michael Woodmansee, was sentenced to 40 years for the 1975 murder of Jason Foreman, a 5-year-old neighbor in the tranquil coastal town of South Kingstown. In 1982, the police found the boy’s shellacked bones in Mr. Woodmansee’s bedroom, along with a journal that they said contained gruesome details of the crime.

But because of a state law that shortens the sentences of inmates with good behavior and prison jobs, Mr. Woodmansee, 52, is to be released in August after serving only 28 years. Jason’s father, John Foreman, has threatened to kill Mr. Woodmansee if he is set free, and others have planned a rally at the Rhode Island Statehouse to protest the so-called earned time law.

Mr. Woodmansee was 16 when Jason vanished in May 1975, never coming home from an afternoon of outdoor play. The case went unsolved until 1982, when Mr. Woodmansee was charged with the attempted murder of a 14-year-old paperboy, and confessed to luring Jason into his home and stabbing him.

A. T. Wall, the state corrections chief, said Wednesday that psychiatrists started evaluating Mr. Woodmansee this week to determine if he meets the “very narrow” standards for involuntary commitment after his release.

“In this case our options are slim,” Mr. Wall said. “We are also looking for other settings that might provide him with some form of shelter and treatment even if he does not meet the standard for commitment.”

He added that many other states had earned-time laws, saying, “We are by no means an outlier.”

Mr. Woodmansee, who was sent to Massachusetts to serve his prison time, was returned to Rhode Island last week so that corrections officials could start evaluating him.

John Foreman would not comment on the case Wednesday, but his lawyer, Erik B. Wallin, said the Foreman family wanted state lawmakers to alter the earned time law so that it no longer applied to violent offenders.

Vincent Vespia, the police chief in South Kingstown, described Jason Foreman’s murder as “heinous and brutal,” and said Mr. Woodmansee’s shortened sentence was “mind-boggling.”

“I believe he’s mentally ill,” Chief Vespia said, “and I have no reason to believe he’s been rehabilitated or cured from that malady.”

The journal found at Mr. Woodmansee’s home remains in Chief Vespia’s possession, sealed under court order. “I’ll not discuss the contents,” he said.

In an interview on WPRO radio on Wednesday, Dale Sherman, the former paperboy whom Mr. Woodmansee attacked in 1982, said Mr. Woodmansee had given him a drink that made him pass out and tried to strangle him with a red bandanna. “Why is this man even still breathing,” Mr. Sherman said, “let alone trying to get out of prison?”

On Monday, John Foreman told WPRO that he had “stupidly” agreed to the plea bargain to avoid the agony of hearing details of the murder at trial.

“If this man is released anywhere in my vicinity,” he said, “or if I can find him after the fact, I do intend to kill this man.”

Other residents expressed similar fury in interviews Wednesday. Walter Campbell, 52, who said he helped search for Jason Foreman after he disappeared, said he considered buying a gun after hearing that Mr. Woodmansee might be released.

“I think that there are probably a lot of people who would want to kill him if he came back in this town,” Mr. Campbell said, “to make sure it didn’t happen again.”

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