criminal justice reform

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sits for an interview with WUNC in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Cooper addressed the opiod crisis affecting the state.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A new state criminal justice panel formed in the wake of George Floyd's killing had its first meeting this week. The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice is charged with finding solutions to racial disparities in North Carolina's criminal justice system.

Democratic state Rep. Deb Butler made national headlines last September when, following a surprise and controversial veto override vote, she grabbed a microphone and lit into Republican House Speaker Tim Moore.

Gerrymandering, she says, has polarized lawmakers and it's nearly paralyzed the General Assembly. She'd rather they were legislating on middle ground. 

On this episode of the Politics Podcast from WUNC, Butler talks about the hope for redistricting reform. She also reveals the pulse of Wilmington as North Carolina and the nation faces a racial reckoning. And, she explains why she reached for a little champagne last week.
 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

After weeks of unrest over police brutality and systemic racism, North Carolina lawmakers turned attention back to two pieces of legislation: One would ease expungement of criminal records, another would let judges avoid some sentencing mandates. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation talk about how significant these bills are, and where they come down on the idea of renaming military bases named for Confederate generals. 

Also, did they feel any relief with the announcement this week that the RNC is officially heading to Jacksonville, Florida for President Trump's renomination?


SEAN HOBSON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Exhausted by the longest legislative session since 2001, state lawmakers are pushing through piecemeal spending measures as the full budget sits in the senate. Governor Cooper signed off on raises for most state employees, but public school teachers as well as staff at state universities and community colleges are still waiting.

The money bail system disproportionately affects marginalized communities.
Pexabay

Two Western North Carolina counties are hoping to revamp the money bail system in the interest of public safety and making better use of taxpayer resources related to jail costs. 

man in handcuffs
houstondwiphotos / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/nQGa3o

Almost one in 20 people jailed in Mecklenburg County last year were held on failure to pay court fines or fees. Now, a new program supported by the MacArthur Foundation is modeling an evidence-based approach to criminal justice reform that changes the way people are assessed, held and released.