Frank Caprio (judge)

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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 Caught in Providence.

Frank Caprio is the Chief Judge of the Providence Municipal Court in Providence, RI.

Early life and education[edit]

Caprio was born into a family of ten to parents Antonio and Filomena Caprio, first generation Italian immigrants who lived in Providence. His father worked as a fruit peddler and a milkman.

Caprio attended the Providence public schools, while working as a dishwasher and shoe-shiner. He graduated from Central High School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Providence College.[1] 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, taking evening classes.


Caprio has served as a Providence Municipal Court Judge since 1985. 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. He 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.

Caprio is a partner in the Coast Guard House Restaurant in Narragansett, Rhode Island.[1]

Caught in Providence[edit]

Caught in Providence started national syndication on September 24, 2018. The show, featuring real court proceedings on low-level citations, has run for more than two decades on local television in Providence, Rhode Island.[2]

Community outreach[edit]

At Suffolk University School of Law, Caprio founded the Antonio “Tup” Caprio Scholarship Fund.[1] 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.[citation needed]

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. He is a Member of President’s Council at Providence College and on the Dean’s Advisory Committee at Suffolk Law School.[citation needed]

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,[citation needed] and also received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Rhode Island in 2016.[3] In 2003 he was the first recipient of the Enrico Caruso Award from the Providence Opera for his contributions to the arts.[citation needed] In August 2018, Caprio received the Producer's Circle Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b c Congressional Record Vol. 144-Part 7: Proceedings and Debates of the 105th Congress Second Session. Government Printing Office. p. 9891. GGKEY:J362N4FKWHB. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ Amaral, Brian. "'Caught in Providence' is now courting a national audience". Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  3. ^ "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.

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