Executive Order 98-07
July 28, 1998
WHEREAS, recent studies have indicated that confidentiality statutes are poorly understood and inconsistently interpreted by some state officials and community providers; and
WHEREAS, such confusion sometimes leads to misconceptions about what information can be shared and with whom; and
WHEREAS, a failure to share legally available information can raise impediments to effective treatment in both residential and nonresidential programs. It also weakens the ability of state agencies and local law enforcement to share information about serious, chronic and violent offenders which, if strengthened, would increase public safety and the effectiveness of prevention services; and
WHEREAS, the Governor's Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform has recommended that a Study Group be established in collaboration with the Attorney General, to review federal and state law regarding the confidentiality of juvenile records; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of this Study Group shall be to develop a plan and/or legislation to effectively address the perceived and actual barriers to the sharing of pertinent treatment and legal information between state agencies, community providers, and members of the public so as to enhance public safety and improve the manner in which juvenile records are maintained and shared among interested parties while preserving a juvenile's right to privacy.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, LINCOLN ALMOND, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do hereby order as follows:
1. There is hereby established a Study Group to review issues relation to the confidentiality laws affecting the prosecution and treatment of juveniles.