Crime and punishment

Preventing crime is the most basic function of government. North Carolina governments have made important progress in this area in recent years, but the state has reached an upper bound on imprisonment.

The probation system loses far too many offenders, with many returning as violent offenders. A large proportion of inmates have serious mental illnesses, and many of them could have been diverted from incarceration into the community care they need.

Key Facts


  1. Maintain North Carolina's commitment to fighting crime while reserving prison for violent and repeat offenders.
  2. Adopt Conditional Post-Conviction Early Release bonds as an alternative to the failing state probation system and a better way to involve the community in supervising and rehabilitating youthful and nonviolent offenders, with the costs borne by the offenders rather than the taxpayers.
  3. Divert mentally ill individuals into communitybased care rather than jails, starting with crisis intervention teams and other pre-booking interventions.

Analyst: Jon Sanders
Associate Director of Research
919-828-3876 •