Assessing North Carolina's Changes to Supervision Revocation Policy

Brief

Assessing North Carolina's Changes to Supervision Revocation Policy

Abstract

North Carolina changed its supervision revocation policies in 2011 as part of the passage and implementation of the Justice Reinvestment Act, aimed at reducing prison spending and reinvesting savings in more effective public safety strategies. In addition to adding options for responding to supervision violations in the community, North Carolina created Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV) centers to detain people subject to a new 90-day cap on revocation time for technical violations and provide behavioral and substance use interventions. Our analysis finds that the adoption of the cap on revocation time and implementation of the CRV centers reduced the number of revocations to prison by 35 percent between 2011 and 2017. Additionally, the share of revocations resulting from technical violations alone has fallen 85 percent and revocations are down for both probation and post-release supervision. Incarceration sanctions – including short jail stays and CRV dispositions in addition to revocations – are also occurring later in the supervision term, but have increased overall and now exceed pre-reform levels. Lastly, a survey of supervision officers found that officers consider CRV terms a significant change in practice and overall feel that CRV terms have helped them respond to technical violations more effectively. This brief offers recommendations that North Carolina policymakers can consider to build on these policy changes, further address costly revocations, and continue to invest in more effective public safety solutions.

Research Area: 

Centers

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