Frank Caprio (judge)

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Frank Caprio
Judge Frank Caprio in 2018.jpg
Caprio in 2018
Francesco Caprio

(1936-11-23) November 23, 1936 (age 82)
Alma materProvidence College
Suffolk University School of Law
OccupationJudge, television personality
EmployerProvidence Municipal Court (1985–current)
Rhode Island Board of Governors
Spouse(s)Joyce E. Caprio

Francesco "Frank" Caprio (born November 23, 1936) is the chief municipal judge in Providence, Rhode Island and the former Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors. His judicial work is televised on the television program Caught in Providence.[1][2]

In 2017, videos showing his courtroom went viral, with more than 15 million hits.[3][4] In 2019 views of Caught in Providence were nearing 100 million since 2015[5] and one video shared on Pulptastic had 41 million views on YouTube.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Caprio was born the middle child of three sons to an Italian immigrant father from Teano, Antonio Caprio, and an Italian American mother from Providence whose family had immigrated from Naples, Filomena Caprio, in the Italian American neighborhood of Federal Hill, Providence.[7] His father worked as a fruit peddler and a milkman.[7][8]

Caprio attended the Providence public schools, while working as a dishwasher and shoe-shiner. He graduated from Central High School, where he won the state title in wrestling in 1953.[9] He earned a Bachelor's degree from Providence College.[10] After graduating, he began teaching American government at Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island. While teaching at Hope, Caprio attended the Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, attending night school. This subsequently led to him joining the legal profession.[11] Caprio served in the National Guard at Camp Varnum in Narragansett and Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania.[9][7][12]


Caprio was elected to the Providence City Council in 1962 and served until 1968. He was elected as a Delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1975 and he has been elected as a Delegate to five Democratic National Conventions. He served as chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education which controls major decisions for the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island.[7] Since 1985 he has served as a Providence Municipal Court Judge.[2] Parts of the proceedings over which he presided, featuring low-level citations, ran for more than two decades on local television.[13][14] On September 24, 2018, the show Caught in Providence started national syndication.[15] The show was renewed for a second season of syndication in January 2019.[16]

Frank Caprio is also a partner in the Coast Guard House Restaurant in Narragansett, Rhode Island.[10]

Community outreach[edit]

At Suffolk University School of Law, Caprio founded the Antonio “Tup” Caprio Scholarship Fund.[10] This scholarship, named after the Judge’s father, who was only of a fifth grade education, is for Rhode Island students who are committed to improving access to legal services in Rhode Island urban core neighborhoods. He has also established scholarships at Providence College, Suffolk Law School, and for graduates of Central High School, named in honor of his father.[17]

Frank Caprio has been involved in the Boys Town of Italy, the Nickerson House Juvenile Court and Rhode Island Food Bank. In 1983 he was the Co-Chair for the Rhode Island Statue of Liberty Foundation (raising funds for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island). The Judge was also a member of the Board of Regents of Elementary and Secondary education and the Governor’s Pre-K thru 16 Council on education.[18] He is a Member of President’s Council at Providence College.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

Caprio was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by his alma mater Suffolk University Law School in 1991 and Providence College in 2008,[19] and also received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Rhode Island in 2016.[20] In August 2018, Caprio received the Producer's Circle Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Caprio has been married to Joyce E. Caprio for over 50 years.[7] They have five children together, including: Frank T. Caprio, David Caprio, Marissa Caprio Pesce, John Caprio, and Paul Caprio.[7] They also have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.[7]


  1. ^ "People having tough days". Caught in Providence You Tube Channel. Caught in Providence. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Caught in Providence". Official website. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ "80-year-old judge becomes unlikely internet star". CBS News. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Viral Judge Frank Caprio Rules With A Big Heart". NBC News. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Caught In Providence". YouTube. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  6. ^ This Judge Had The Best Reaction To This Little Boy's Honesty on YouTube
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Judge Frank Caprio Wants Justice for All". 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Caprio: Leave the ladder down, so others may follow". May 19, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Providence is home court for TV Judge Frank Caprio '58 & '08Hon". May 8, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c 1998 Congressional Record, Vol. 144, Page S5244
  11. ^ "The civics lesson and the last chance for a pan handler: Judge Caprio trying a school teacher". You tube (Caught in Providence Channel). You Tube / Caught in Providence. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  12. ^ "A Family of Veterans, Hurricane High Gravity, and Help Yourself". November 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Amaral, Brian. "'Caught in Providence' is now courting a national audience". Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  14. ^ "Saved by the car clock". Caught in Providence official YT channel. Caught in Providence. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  15. ^ "An honest boy". Caught in Providence / You tube. Caught in Providence. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Who is judge Frank Caprio? Top 7 videos that made him an internet sensation". International Business Times, India Edition. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Task Force Will Boost Numbers Completing Degrees" (PDF). Highlights (1). Rhode Island Office of Higher Education. Winter 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Caprio: Leave the ladder down, so others may follow". The Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Commencement 2016: University of Rhode Island to present 5 honorary doctorates this year". University of Rhode Island. URI Today. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  21. ^ "LIVE: Caprio's "Caught in Providence" Begins National Distribution". GoLocalProv. Retrieved 19 May 2019.

External links[edit]