Improper Equipment Fee Is Punitive, Must Go to Schools

The Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Program took a hit this week in the court of appeals. In Richmond County Board of Education v. Cowell, about half of the money that comes into the program fund—the $50 fee for anyone found responsible for an improper equipment violation—was deemed to be punitive. Under the North Carolina Constitution, the money must therefore go to the public schools.

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Sentencing Whiteboard: A Typical Felony Probation Case after Justice Reinvestment

What happens when a low-level felon serves a split and then gets quick-dipped, dunked, and eventually revoked? Today’s video post walks through a case like that from start to finish, including many of the jail credit wrinkles that have emerged since 2011. Long story short: things have gotten complicated. I hope you’ll take a look.

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New Probation CRV Centers Open

Have you ever eaten cake decorated with the name of a prison facility? I hadn’t until a few weeks ago, when I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Division of Adult Correction’s new CRV Center in Robeson County. CRV_cake1I’m glad I made the trip down to Lumberton—not just because of the cake (which turned out to be pretty good), but also because of what I learned about DAC’s vision for its new form of confinement for probation violators. Today’s post is intended to pass some of that information along to the judges and prosecutors who will send probationers to the CRV centers, and to the defense lawyers who will advise their clients about what to expect there.

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Reflections on the Justice Reinvestment National Summit

I’m a little jet-lagged today. I got back home to Durham early this morning after a long flight. I was attending the Justice Reinvestment National Summit . . . in San Diego. Poor baby! Suffice it to say, the winter weather that gripped the East Coast this week did not extend to Southern California. I won’t lie, it was beautiful. But I promise the lovely setting did not stand in the way of a productive gathering. I want to use today’s post to offer a few reflections on the conference.

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Sentencing Legislation Review Part I: New Credit Rules for CRV

My next few posts will discuss this session’s legislative changes related to sentencing and corrections. Today’s post covers some pending changes related to confinement in response to violation (CRV, sometimes referred to as a “dunk”). CRV is incarceration ordered in response to a technical violation of probation—meaning a violation other than a new crime or … Read more

Justice Reinvestment on the Ground

Among the two dozen or so states that have participated in Justice Reinvestment, North Carolina has become something of a darling. The goal of the initiative (summarized in this infographic) is to reduce spending on corrections, and North Carolina has done that. Since the day the law came into effect, we have 2,000 fewer prison … Read more

Spring Break Sentencing Reading List

I was on spring break last week, which meant I had lots of time for uninterrupted reading while my kids entertained themselves at the pool. Okay, maybe not. Despite being on the go, I made time to read three new publications from the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission. They are well worth a … Read more

Jail Credit for CRVs

Today’s post is about a recurrent question related to jail credit for periods of confinement in response to violation (CRV). First, a 30-second refresher on the basics of CRV. When a probationer commits a violation other than a new criminal offense or absconding, the court may order a period of confinement in response to violation. … Read more

G.S. 90-96 Limbo

The Justice Reinvestment Act made conditional discharge under G.S. 90-96(a) mandatory for eligible, consenting defendants. The law was amended last year to make it discretionary again for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2013. S.L. 2013-210. But while it was mandatory, a lot of defendants were placed on probation under G.S. 90-96(a). Naturally, many … Read more