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JRI Year: 2011



In 2010, North Carolina’s prison population was projected to grow by 10 percent over the coming decade. At the time, probation revocations accounted for more than half of prison admissions, and only about 15 percent of people released from prison were receiving supervision. From 2010 to 2011, CSG Justice Center staff worked with North Carolina state leaders to use JRI to address these issues.


House Bill 642 was signed into law in 2011. The law required mandatory supervision for everyone convicted of felonies upon release from prison. It also empowered probation officers to use swift and certain jail sanctions in response to violations of conditions of supervision and increased sentences for people convicted of repeat breaking-and-entering offenses. Finally, the law provided substance use treatment, cognitive behavioral services, and other evidence-based programming to people on supervision who have the greatest need for treatment and are at the highest risk of reoffending. North Carolina implemented several policy and practice changes to achieve these objectives.1


In response to JRI, between 2013 and 2016, North Carolina invested more than $47 million to target their projected prison growth, probation revocations, and supervision.2 Compared to 2011 trends, in 2021 North Carolina’s probation revocations were more than 50 percent lower, total admissions to prison were 43 percent lower, and the state’s prison population dropped 28 percent.3 The reduction allowed North Carolina to close 11 small prisons.4

For more information, see Justice Reinvestment in North Carolina.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Reclassify/redefine drug offenses
  • Revise sentencing enhancements
  • Establish sentencing commission/revise sentencing guidelines
  • Authorize or expand risk-reduction sentencing or incentive sentences
  • Expand good-time/earned-time prison credits/reentry leave
  • Authorize administrative jail sanctions
  • Authorize/develop/modify graduated responses or matrices for violations
  • Cap revocation time
  • Establish mandatory reentry supervision
  • Require/improve risk-needs assessment
  • Improve behavioral health interventions
  • Require data collection/performance measures

Other JRI-Funded Projects

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the CSG Justice Center, was one of the first to test and contribute to the digital infrastructure of the Justice Counts initiative.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the CSG Justice Center, will educate the sectors and create a sustainable workplan for ongoing participation as part of the Justice Counts initiative.

1 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2023, Justice Reinvestment in North Carolina, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 19, 2023 from

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

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