Family Fights For Good Time Bill

A Rhode Island family who lost a son and brother to a violent criminal is once again pushing to keep inmates from getting out of prison early for good behavior.    

Jason Foreman was five years old when he was brutally killed decades ago in South Kingstown. His killer was supposed to be sent away for 40-years, but got out 12 years early.  

The family was back at the State House Thursday for a second year in a row, pushing lawmakers to keep violent criminals behind bars.

The Foreman family has been fighting for more than a year to make sure murderers, rapists, and kidnappers don't get out of prison early no matter how good they are behind bars.

The bill they've been working on passed in a Senate Committee Thursday.

John foreman said he's continuing his mother's mission to make sure criminals, like Michael Woodmansee, who killed his brother stay in prison.

“We thought he was going to be in there for quite some time,” said John Foreman.

Woodmansee killed his five year old brother Jason Foreman back in 1975. Police didn't find out he did it until years later when they found Jason's bones in his house.     

Woodmansee was supposed to serve 40 years but got out 12 years early.

“We're like what and it was a shock because nobody in our family was ever told he was going to earn good time credits,” said Foreman.

Under the current law, any criminal can earn good time credits if they behave behind bars.      The “good time bill”, which Senator Susan Sosnowski sponsors is meant to eliminate early release for the most serious criminals.

“I think the public overall wants to see this bill passed,” said Senator Sosnowski, “It's been an overwhelming response for over a year.”

The bill failed last year, so the Foreman family is trying again. Thursday it passed the first hurdle, a Senate Committee approved it.     

John Foreman said he doesn't plan to give up anytime soon. “Some days are real great,” he said, “Some days are real tough. This is going to be a good day.”

The bill has a long way to go. Now the full Senate has to pass it, and that's as far as it got last year.     

Then a House committee takes it up. If it makes it through there, the full House votes on it.

Woodmansee was released from prison last year. He voluntarily went to a mental institution.