Fact Sheet on Community Corrections

While the bulk of the money spent by the State on corrections is for the incarceration of prisoners, three-quarters of convicted offenders each year are returned to the community for their punishment.

Based on the most recent annual data:

  • Of the nearly 190,000 convictions each year,* approximately 137,000 criminal offenses are punished with sanctions that include no active jail or prison time. Of these, 83,000 receive neither active time nor a supervised probationary sentence (34,000 are low-level misdemeanants).
  • Approximately 45,000 convictions result in active jail or prison sentences; another 8,000 receive split sentences – a “quick dip” active sentence followed by probation (split sentences are considered “supervised” in chart).
  • All misdemeanants and at least some felons with Class E or lower felony convictions can be given non-active sentences:
  • 25,000 felony convictions could have received non-active sentences in 2006-07; 18,000 (71%) actually received non-active sentences.
  • All 161,000 misdemeanant convictions could have received non-active sentences; 127,000 (78%) actually received non-active sentences.
  • When given the choice, judges impose active sentences (jail or prison) about 39% of the time for felonies and 28% of the time for misdemeanors.
  • Of the probationers whose supervision ended in 2005-06, approximately 1/3 had their probation ended because it was revoked for committing violations or new crimes (thereby serving an active sentence on top of probation). The revocation rate was higher for felons than for misdemeanants.
  • Within three years, 26 percent of all probationers and 45 percent of intermediate-sanctioned offenders were incarcerated for probation violations or new crimes.^
  • More than half (53%) of offenders entering prison each year are there for violating the terms of their probation or committing a new crime while on probation.

 [Note: Some offenders elect to serve their suspended active sentence, which can be as short as 3 months for a Class I felony, rather than spend two years or more on supervised probation.]

Judges can impose three types of sentences: active (jail/prison time), intermediate, and community. An intermediate sentence involves probation plus an additional sanction such as electronic house arrest, a day reporting center, a “split sentence” (short active sentence followed by probation), or intensive probation.

The type of sanction a judge can impose, and the length of the active sentence, is determined by the level of the offense and the offender’s prior criminal history (see grid below).

  • The Division of Community Corrections employs 2,012 probation/parole officers who supervise 114,000 probationers and 4,000 offenders on parole/post-release. Approximately 16,000 of these offenders are currently evading supervision.
  • Currently, there are approximately 57,000 community-level offenders, 30,000 intermediate-level offenders, and 18,000 DWI (driving while intoxicated) probationers.
  • The standard caseload for a Probation/Parole Officer (PPO) I, supervising community-level offenders, is 110:1 (90:1 by statute, 110:1 by policy).
  • The standard caseload for a PPO II or PPO III, supervising more serious offenders with intermediate sanctions, ranges from 25:1+ to 60:1, depending on the nature of the sanction.
  • Due to vacancies and different models, average caseloads last year in some counties were at least as high as 153:1 for PPO Is (Lenoir) and 110:1 for PPO IIs (Durham). (In March, DCC reported caseloads by officer type for five counties.)

 

 

PRIOR RECORD LEVEL

 

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

FELONIES

A

Death or Life without Parole

B

A

A

A

A

A

A

C

A

A

A

A

A

A

D

A

A

A

A

A

A

E

I/A

I/A

A

A

A

A

F

I/A

I/A

I/A

A

A

A

G

I/A

I/A

I/A

I/A

A

A

H

C/I/A

I/A

I/A

I/A

I/A

A

I

C

C/I

I

I/A

I/A

A

MISDEMEANORS

A1

C/I/A

C/I/A

C/I/A

A = Active Jail/Prison

I = Intermediate

C = Community

Light Gray = Non-active is optional

Dark Gray = Non-active is required

1

C

C/I/A

C/I/A

2

C

C/I

C/I/A

3

C

C/I

C/I/A

 


*Conviction = most serious offense for each offender on a given court day; some offenders may have multiple convictions over the course of a year.

^Data on re-incarceration is for offenders placed on probation in 2003-04.

Data sources: N.C. Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission and N.C. Department of Correction.

 

 

This article was posted in Justice & Public Safety by Chloe Gossage on June 4, 2008 at 11:24 AM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2008/fact-sheet-community-corrections/

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