Local News

State launches new system to track offenders

Posted December 9, 2008 6:09 p.m. EST
Updated August 25, 2010 5:57 p.m. EDT

— Starting Jan. 1, all probation officers in the state will be required to use a new online tool to help them track offenders, the Department of Correction said late Tuesday afternoon.

The Web-based application, which went online Oct. 29, alerts probation officers when an offender in their caseload is arrested or convicted and when a warrant or order for arrest is issued, department spokesman Keith Acree said in a news release.

Officers can also review their entire caseload and see which offenders have been arrested or convicted since the previous day, he said.

The $75,000 program comes as state officials are working to fix problems brought to light in the wake of the slayings earlier this year of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior Eve Carson.

Suspects in both those shootings were on probation at the time of the crimes. An internal investigation into their cases found the suspects whom the probation system had overlooked, in part, because of heavy caseloads and there not being a central system from which probation officers could obtain court information about offenders.

The online system, Acree said, is connected to arrest and conviction data from the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Earlier this year, the state launched a pilot program, called NCAWARE (North Carolina Arrest Warrant Repository), in select counties that gives law enforcement officers real-time information and photos.

It cuts out a delay between the time a warrant is issued for someone's arrest and when law enforcement officers across the state can find out about it.

That means an officer making a traffic stop could immediately check NCAWARE to see if that person has any outstanding warrants or criminal summonses. Magistrates would also have background available to help them better set jail bonds.

NCAWARE is expected to go statewide by 2010.