In response to a Charlotte Observer investigation regarding prison corruption, Senate leader Phil Berger has said that he plans to call for a legislative inquiry on prison corruption. Moreover, Governor Roy Cooper has called upon Secretary of Public Safety Erik Hooks to identify ways to address the issues identified in the investigation. The investigation exposed a host of problems. These include officers physically abusing inmates, permitting or encouraging attacks on inmates, having sex with inmates, and running contraband rings inside prisons. Learn more at http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article155319679.html
The DEA has proposed action that is reminiscent of the unsuccessful “War on Drugs” of the 1980s. This “War on Drugs” involved draconian and discriminatory sentencing for drug offenders. The current proposal is that the DEA hire a separate prosecutor corps of as many as 20 prosecutors to prosecute cases related to drug trafficking, money laundering. The proposal, according to DEA spokesman Rusty Payne, is in response to the opioid crisis. Opponents of the plan, including the Drug Policy Alliance, fear that the plan exceeds the DEA’s authority under federal law and represents movement away from treating drug addiction as a public health crisis. Learn more at http://www.npr.org/2017/05/04/526784152/dea-seeks-prosecutors-to-fight-opioid-crisis-critics-fear-return-to-war-on-drugs
Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy have pledged to fight back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vow to seek the longest possible sentences even for non-violent drug offenses. Paul, Leahy, and Democrat Jeff Merkley have introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would allow federal judges the discretion to give out sentences below the mandatory minimum in some cases. The Senators noted the failure of increasing incarceration to lower crime rates, as well as the extraordinary cost to taxpayers. They also noted the ineffectiveness of Sessions’ approach for treating opioid addiction.
Between April 25 and May 25, NC Medicaid and NC Health Choice Transformation will be requesting public input regarding various topics, including increasing access to care and treating substance use disorders. You can download dates, times, and locations of public input sessions.
Return with Honor is a new nonprofit in Brunswick County dedicated to creating employment opportunities and training for people who have served in the military and are ex-offenders. Specifically, Return with Honor will hire people who have served in the military to train and mange people who are on house arrest, work release, probation, parole or weekend jail. The goal is to address employment issues for people who served in the military and to help reduce recidivism by creating a strong reentry program for the criminally involved.
This combination of helping employ ex-military and ex-offenders is exactly the type of community based program desperately needed in North Carolina. To reduce the overuse of jails and prisons, there must be support systems available to those people reentering society to break the cycle of recidivism. In 2015-2016, North Carolina released almost 24,000 people from prison. This number does not include all the people who reenter communities from jails and probation. The Carolina Justice Policy Center makes it a priority to support entities that are working to make reentry a positive experience that reduces recidivism.
Return with Honor is hosting an open house on April 6, 2017 from noon until 1pm. Learn more about Return with Honor »