RI prison officials: DOJ probing hiring practices

Has concerns about the grading mechanism for written and video exams


Associated Press

CRANSTON, R.I. — Rhode Island prison officials say the U.S. Justice Department has told the state Department of Corrections it intends to sue over what it calls unfairness to minority job candidates.

State officials plan to travel to Washington on Monday to meet with the Justice Department.

Prisons spokeswoman Susan Lamkins says the Justice Department said it has concerns about the grading mechanism for written and video exams the state uses during the hiring process, and intends to file a lawsuit.

Corrections Director A.T. Wall told lawmakers last week that federal officials said the outcome of the exams disproportionately and adversely affected black and Hispanic candidates. He said he was surprised and dismayed by the finding.

Nineteen percent of the department's 911 correctional officers are minorities.

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