In 2012, the General Assembly enacted sentencing and corrections reforms based on recommendations of a Special Council created by legislation a year earlier. The council found that the state prison population had more than doubled in the last 20 years, and projected another 8 percent growth in the next five years, absent policy reform. The act focused on providing prison space for serious offenders, and strengthened probation and court supervision. The legislation was projected to avert prison population growth of about 5,000 inmates during the first five years and lawmakers reinvested $17 million in accountability courts and residential programs for FY2013. Since adoption, the prison population has stabilized and a backlog of state inmates in local facilities has been nearly eliminated. Savings from the reduced backlog has been used to increase salaries for security staff.
In 2013, the Special Council was codified and continues to make recommendations for improvement to the criminal justice system. The legislature has enacted reforms each year since 2013.
HB 265 (2011)
HB 1176 (2012) Justice Reinvestment Initiative
HB 742 (2012)
Exec. Order (May 24, 2012)
HB 349 (2013)
SB 364 (2014)
SB 365 (2014)
HB 310 (2015)
HB 329 (2015)
HB 751 (2016)
SB 357 (2016)
Summaries of legislation can be found in NCSL’s Sentencing and Corrections Enactment Database.
Return to NCSL’s Justice Reinvestment State Resources page or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice program.