Local News

Governor will support probation changes

Posted August 20, 2008

— The Governor's Office said Wednesday it will support whatever the Department of Correction feels is necessary to improve the state's troubled probation system when a final report by an outside agency is complete.

Among the 35 changes recommended in a 24-page draft of the National Institute of Correction's review of the probation system are new laws to deny bond for high-risk offenders who are arrested while on probation.

Defense attorney Robert Nunley says denying bond would be controversial.

"Our current system accounts for someone's prior criminal conduct, their probationary status and any threats to a particular victim or society as a whole," Nunley said.

The draft report also calls for better management and better technology, including a central database so law enforcement officers, court officials and probation officers have the same information when dealing with suspects and offenders.

New ways to manage caseloads and better training are also suggested in the report. It found the probation oversights of the murder suspects in the deaths of Eve Carson and Abhijit Mahato were not isolated.

An audit showed 80 percent of the 1,400 cases reviewed in Durham weren't being handled properly.


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  • Dr. Dataclerk Aug 21, 2008

    You do realize that it took the late Ms. Eve Carson's life for the officials to see that the probation program was our of whack. I say keep the criminals lock up since they do not know or have not learned the rules of law. They need to solve this as quick as possible because there are many out on probation now committing crimes as we write our comments here.

  • Just the facts mam Aug 20, 2008

    Hopefully, something will be done to fix the parole\probation problems. I vote for keeping the people in jail as they cannot commit more crimes behind bars, but I guess that is not feasible - therefore a working parole\probation system is needed.

  • Sweetgrl3 Aug 20, 2008

    Great comment. I agree with you 100%. Robert Guy is getting away with everything. Wral does not have the facts. Robert Guy will never take part in any of this. I would like to hear his comments regarding the Urban Report. I can tell you that we will never hear about that. He does not care about anyone but himself. Hey....that is ok, come January he will be gone. Too bad he won't remove himself on his own.

  • Blue Shirt Aug 20, 2008

    A full court docket is a major problem along with prison beds; you don't want to send most first offenders to DOC for active sentences. Offenders would rather be in prison than in the county jails;

  • bilbobag99 Aug 20, 2008

    Oh, and while we are on a roll, WRAL, why haven't you asked Robert Guy about the annual Urban Report? Does he read it? If not, why not? It would have told him all about the problems he had going back 4 or 5 years. It is stunning that Robert Guy is getting off with no scrutiny from any type of real investigative reporting.

  • bilbobag99 Aug 20, 2008

    Of course, the study neglects to recommend removal of Robert Guy who knew about all the problems but was more interested in his future election aspirations than in doing his job. The coverage of this situation by WRAL is very disappointing. Why hasn't WRAL dug in and asked why Robert Guy still has a job? Why haven't they asked why the supervisor with responsibility for the problem area was allowed to retire, while the supervisor who had nothing to do with this was punished by transferring him to Durham?

  • TheAdmiral Aug 20, 2008

    Oh there are problems.

    There are people who believe if you just follow policies and procedures then there are no problems. Those are the ones who are in denial.

    Mediocrity is the problem. If they stay within the lines of doing nothing, then no harm will come to them in an audit.

    And there, my friends, lies the problem.

  • whocares Aug 20, 2008

    The first thing should be that they keep up with the people that they were assigned to. How many people have broken their probation and are still walking the streets. That should be the #1 priority and then fix the rest of the sorry excuse for the Probation Division

  • superman Aug 20, 2008

    I am amazed that the people who are employed and get paid do not know what parts of the system are broken and what needs to be done. Employees of the system should be the first line of advice on what needs to be done.

  • cstaley Aug 20, 2008

    The state hires the most qualified applicnat 99% of the time. That is not disputable. The problem is that the best people in the job pool do not applybecause the pay is so low. Why should a college graduate start at $22,000 a year with probation, when they can go to work at the Police or Sheriff's office for $28,000 or $30,000. Then the good employes that are hired by Probation/Parole are hired away by other agencies. Other agencies pay for experience, but probation/parole doesn't.

    The system is broken because the General Assembly might give officers a 2% pay raise, excuse me this year it was 1.75%, when that officer that has been with Probation/Parole can go to the District Attorney's office for a 30% raise. The General Assembly broke Probation/Parole by taking away the merit system. Why should the good officers stay or why should they perform, after all they will get the same pay as the slacker. They are all in the same pay grade. The only way to get a raise is to change jobs.