As the courts expand operations in the coming months, they’ll likely be holding probation violation hearings on cases where the probation period has already expired. A case decided by the Court of Appeals yesterday offers some insight into the type of findings needed to give a court jurisdiction to act. Continue reading →
As Shea discussed on Monday, the court system will look to expand operations on June 1. Today’s post describes a few of the issues related to probation that are likely to arise in the months ahead. Continue reading →
As the struggle to contain the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, including concerns about the possible spread of the virus in jails and prisons, there has been a renewed interest in finding alternatives to sentences that involve extended periods of incarceration. It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that Jamie Markham has written about such alternatives many times over the years. But in light of the current health situation, I thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit some of those topics, collect them together in one post, and try to expand on a few of the suggestions and options.
I should also acknowledge that this post was prompted, at least in part, by the fact that I only recently learned about an unusual type of sentence known as the “Holbrook Holiday.”
Correctional statistics have been in the news as we consider the impact of the coronavirus on our jails, prisons, and supervised populations. This week the Secretary of Public Safety announced a decision to extend the limits of confinement for certain categories of inmates under G.S. 148-4 (the general plan is outlined here). That (in conjunction with the existing moratorium on new entries) caused the prison population to fall throughout the week. Advocates continue to push for broader releases.
But today’s post isn’t about what’s happening now to get certain inmates out of prison. Instead, it’s a review of the last year’s worth of data on how those inmates got there in the first place. The North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission recently published its annual Structured Sentencing Statistical Report for Felonies and Misdemeanors. Here are the highlights. Continue reading →
Effective today, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety has placed a 14-day moratorium on the movement of inmates from the county jails to the state prison system. State officials made the decision with the support of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading →
Whenever I teach about Structured Sentencing, I usually start by saying that the law covers most North Carolina crimes, with a few exceptions. Capital felonies and violent habitual felons have their own sentencing rules. And of course so does impaired driving. But a final exception carved out of Structured Sentencing in G.S. 15A-1340.10 is G.S. 130A-25, failure to comply with health control measures. I don’t typically spend much time on those rules, though, as there are only a handful of convictions under them in the state each year (seven in 2019). Now seemed like a good time to take a look. Continue reading →
Today’s post shares my answers to some of the questions I have been asked related to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the correctional system. As you might imagine, many of those questions are focused on ways to reduce jail and prison populations. Continue reading →