Federal Experts Urge Reforms Of North Carolina Probation System


A report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections highlighting flaws in North Carolina’s troubled probation system will be the subject of a meeting today between state and federal corrections officials in Washington, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. The agency was called in after problems were exposed in the handling of the two suspects charged with killing Eve Carson, president of the student body at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Their report suggests preparing pre-sentencing reports that would give judges a more exhaustive look at an offender’s background, but Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby said the research required for those reports would be too taxing on already-overburdened probation officers. The report also suggested revamping the probation intake office so offenders do not slip through the cracks right after a court hearing, giving probation officers a mix of high-risk and low-risk offenders, developing a statewide policy for the distribution of cases if there is turnover in an office and staff positions are not immediately filled, and creating a screening process so high-risk offenders who are being supervised at the lowest level will be forced to be in closer contact with a probation officer.

Link: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/crime_safety/story/1185576.html

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