North Carolina probation officials outlined a plan Tuesday to spend $2.5 million to help fill cracks in a system whose failures have been highlighted this year by several high-profile homicides, reports the Raleigh News and Observer. Nearly 70 percent of the money would go to creating 26 new positions — 20 new probation officers and six new supervisors, Theodis Beck, secretary of the state Department of Correction, told legislators. It was the first time Beck and Robert Guy, head of the state’s probation and parole system, have laid out their plan for spending money the General Assembly doled out this summer in response to the mishandling of the suspects charged with murdering UNC-Chapel Hill student Eve Carson and Duke graduate student Abhijit Mahato.
“We’re all very disturbed by what’s happened,” Beck said. “This is not something we would have expected to deal with. We’re here because of the failure of two cases out of 117,000.” But this spring, probation officials found festering problems in the Durham and Wake offices after taking a closer look at the oversight of Laurence Alvin Lovette, 17, and Demario Atwater, 22. Both were on probation at the time of the two high-profile homicides. But neither was adequately supervised, according to a probation department audit.