North Carolina’s proposed Justice Reinvestment Act, which would change the way parolees and probationers are supervised, gambles on the premise that spending money to keep better track of them will save money in the long run, says the Raleigh News & Oberver. It hit some turbulence yesterday when several Democrats in the House Appropriations Committee said it’s not clear whether the numbers really add up.
The proposal would give probation officers more authority, require drug treatment for probationers and parolees who need it, move most misdemeanor offenders from state prisons to county jails, and impose longer sentences for repeat breaking-and-entering convictions, among other things. Despite some unknowns, the committee approved the bill. Rep. Alice Bordsen, a Democrat, has reservations because the financial numbers are so uncertain. ‘We need to move slowly, carefully, and know what we’re doing,” she said.