Local News

Governor will support probation changes

Posted August 20, 2008 6:04 a.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2008 7:54 p.m. EDT

— 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.