R 340
2001-H 6533
Enacted 7/25/2001

J  O  I  N  T     R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N


Introduced By:  Representative Pires Date Introduced:   June 20, 2001

WHEREAS, The Rhode Island Training School for Youth (the "Training School") was established for the detention of children by order of the Family Court and for the confinement, instruction and reformation of children found delinquent by the Family Court; and

WHEREAS, The Training School is a secure, 24 hour/365 day residential program for both male and female adjudicated delinquents, and youth detained and awaiting trial. The program provides for the protection of Rhode Island residents through the supervision and housing of youth, educational, medical, recreational, religious and rehabilitative services, and proper placement for youth upon release; and

WHEREAS, Since 1973, the Training School has been the subject of a Federal District Court Order to improve physical conditions, programming, services, policies and procedures; and

WHEREAS, A Consent Decree, entered by the Federal District Court in October 2000, includes the requirement that the department construct a new facility or renovate the existing facility to provide adequate and sufficient housing, education and programming to training school residents; and

WHEREAS, The present capacity of the Training School is 180 beds and does not accommodate the number of residents which need to be housed. The resultant overcrowding creates an unsafe environment for both residents and staff and the current housing configuration results in high supervision costs; and

WHEREAS, The buildings are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; and

WHEREAS, The buildings lack electrical security and life safety systems, have deteriorated bathrooms and shower areas, inadequate HVAC systems, interior doors and hardware, and poor electrical lighting; and

WHEREAS, In the last decade, a new school building was constructed and three modular buildings were constructed, and renovations and improvements were made to Buildings 9, 5 and 6; and

WHEREAS, Notwithstanding the improvements made to the facility, the physical plant of the facility is not capable of meeting American Correctional Association accreditation as required by the Federal Court and therefore has prevented full compliance with the Court Order necessitating the need for Judicial oversight; and

WHEREAS, These and related problems require the construction and furnishing of a new facility on existing state property on Power Road in Cranston to the south of Route 37; and

WHEREAS, The new facility would have a total of 214 beds, with options for future expansion should it become necessary, and would provide safe housing and education and programming opportunities for training school residents; and

WHEREAS, The design and construction of the project are to be financed through Certificates of Participation, with an expected payback period of twenty (20) years, the Rhode Island Capital Plan, federal funds, and with proceeds from the 1994 sale of the Sockanosett property. Financing for the operation and maintenance of the facility will be included in the annual operating budgets of the Department of Children, Youth and Families; and

WHEREAS, The capital costs associated with this project are estimated to be $60 million. This includes $300,000 from the Rhode Island Capital Plan Fund, $645,364 in federal funds, proceeds of $1.9 million from the 1994 sale of the Sockanosett property and $57.2 million from the issuance of Certificates of Participation. The total issuance would be approximately $57.8 million, with $57.2 million deposited in the construction fund and $555,000 available to pay the associated costs of issuance. Total lease payments over twenty (20) years on the $57.8 million issuance are projected to be $92.6 million, assuming an average coupon of 5.03 %. The lease payments would be financed within the Department of Administration from general revenue appropriations and any other sources available to the department; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That a new training school is critical for the State to comply with the Federal Court Consent Decree and would provide secure, humane living conditions and rehabilitative opportunities for training school residents; and

RESOLVED, That this General Assembly thereby approves financing in an amount not to exceed $57.8 million for the construction of a new Training School for Youth; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Joint Resolution shall take effect immediately upon its passage by this General Assembly.

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