In United States v. Haymond, 139 S. Ct. 2369 (2019), a divided Supreme Court concluded that a federal statute was unconstitutional to the extent that it exposed the defendant to additional mandatory imprisonment based on a judicial finding that he had violated his supervised release. Does the case have implications for probation and post-release supervision hearings in North Carolina? Continue reading →
Post-release supervision is a lot more common than it used to be. There were about 2,000 on post-release supervision back in 2011 before the Justice Reinvestment Act added PRS for lower-level (Class F–I) felons. Today there are over 12,500 people on post-release supervision, and PRS revocations account for more entries to prison than probation revocations. Nevertheless, some aspects of PRS still seem unfamiliar. Today’s post takes a quick look at a frequently asked question related to what happens when a person is returned to prison for a violation of PRS. Continue reading →
Sentence credits are the days of credit the prison system can award to inmates as an incentive for good behavior, work, or participation in programs in prison. The main sentence reduction credit for sentences imposed under Structured Sentencing is earned time. Earned time reduces an inmate’s maximum sentence, hastening his or her release from prison to post-release supervision. Can it also reduce the person’s term of post-release supervision? Continue reading →
In North Carolina, probationers, post-release supervisees, and parolees are subject to warrantless searches—sometimes by a probation-parole officer, sometimes by law enforcement officers. The statutory conditions that apply to each type of offender and officer are not identical. Today’s post collects them all in one place. Before getting into any of the complicated issues about the constitutionality of a warrantless search of a supervised offender, a sensible starting point is a careful look at the language of the search condition itself. Continue reading →
Today’s post is a return to the Sentencing Whiteboard, this time to explain active sentences for aggravated level one DWI. As Shea and I have discussed in earlier posts (here, here, and here, among others), they are different from other DWI sentences. No parole. No good time. Not cut in half. The video explains why, and describes how typical aggravated level one sentences are administered by the county jails through the Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Program. As you’ll see, sentences for this most serious level of misdemeanor impaired driving are in many cases longer than a felony habitual DWI. I hope you’ll take a look. Continue reading →
Before 2011, post-release supervision (PRS) was a bit of a novelty. Back then, only Class B1–E felons received PRS, and they account for only 15 percent of all felons. For offenses committed on and after December 1, 2011, the Justice Reinvestment Act amended the law to require post-release supervision for all felons who serve active time, regardless of offense class. As a result, there are now close to 10,000 post-release supervisees in North Carolina. More offenders means more questions. And one of the most common questions is what role, if any, the courts have in the administration of post-release supervision. The answer: very little. Continue reading →
I get a lot of mail from inmates. Lately, many of them have written to express their surprise upon being told by prison officials—for the first time—that they will have to complete a term of post-release supervision when they get out of prison. Sex offenders—especially Class F–I sex offenders, including those convicted of indecent liberties—are very surprised to learn that they will be on PRS for five years. Is it a problem that nobody mentioned PRS earlier? Continue reading →
Post-release supervision used to be relatively rare. Before 2011, only Class B1–E felons received PRS, and they accounted for only about 15 percent of all felons. Now that Class F–I felons also get PRS, the number of people under supervision is surging. Some of them get into trouble. This post looks at some of the increasingly common questions that come up when a post-release supervisee is charged with and eventually convicted of a new crime. Continue reading →
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.
Today’s post explains the “single sentence rule” of G.S. 15A-1354(b), the law that tells the prison system how to administer consecutive felony sentences. Knowing the rule is essential to figuring out the release date and post-release supervision term for a defendant who receives consecutive sentences.
The video is longer than I would generally like for these things to be, but it takes a little time to spell out the full rule. One thing it does not address is the related question of whether a judge should take the single sentence rule into account when advising a defendant of the maximum possible sentence for his or her convictions. Jessie discussed that issue here.