Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Reinvesting In NC Prisons

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr
Flickr Creative Commons


In 2011, state lawmakers noticed a discrepancy in North Carolina’s correctional facilities: crime was going down, but the prison population was booming. The culprit? The state’s probation laws.

More than half of prison admissions were because of probation violations. And many of those were minor offenses. In a rare bipartisan move, the General Assembly rewrote the rules. 

Since then, fewer people are in prison, fewer people are going back to prison, and costs are down.

A recent report from the nonpartisan group Council of State Governments Justice Center, which advised the state as it created the law, says North Carolina's prison admissions have dropped by 21 percent since 2011.

But while the Justice Reinvestment Act toughened probation rules for some offenders, it eased them for others.

Host Frank Stasio talks with New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm about his recent article on the effects of North Carolina's new probation system.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Related Content