House budget proposal: Justice and Public Safety cuts

Posted April 12, 2011 11:50 p.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2011 11:58 p.m. EDT

Proposed cuts to the six major areas of state government were released tonight. I'm posting my notes as I look through them. These are NOT an exhaustive list - just what caught my eye going through them the first time.

The Justice and Public Safety proposal represents a cut of about 5.7% from the continuation budget, but that's with the addition of $58 million from new court fees. Without those new fees, the cut would be about 8.3%.

The House proposal would merge the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Crime Control and Public Safety, as suggested by the governor, so it's a bit harder to calculate year-to-year cuts here than in other subcommittees. But here's the highlights:

  • Eliminates funding for Sentencing Services
  • Cuts 117 District Attorney support staff positions, 19 magistrate jobs, and 235 vacant positions in Corrections.
  • Shifts inmate costs to Medicaid wherever possible
  • Adds $58M in increased court fees (see PDF p. 19 for details)
  • Outsources electronic monitoring of offenders
  • Eliminates prison chaplains, to be replaced by volunteers
  • Shifts some emergency management positions to receipts
  • Studies in-home monitoring as alternative to juvenile detention
  • Closes at least one prison, and also allows the lease or sale of closed prisons to private or non-profit groups
  • Reorganizes state capitol police, cutting 40 positions and transferring its powers to the SBI
  • Cuts funding for domestic violence support services to women and children
  • Eliminates road crews and associated supervisory officers
  • Closes Swanannoa and Samarkand Youth Development Centers
  • Cuts 40 vacant positions in the Dept of Justice, eliminates 22 more, and shifts another 22 to receipt funding
  • Eliminates the NC Legal Education Assistance Foundation