Uncategorized

Some news for the Guv

This may come as a shock given the recent absurd overreaction to the planned release of 20 long-term inmates from the Department of Correction, but here goes: North Carolina releases dozens of serious and violent (hopefully, formerly violent) criminal offenders EVERY DAY.

The state has 40,000 people in prison – many, many for very serious and dangerous crimes. It adds 28,000 new prisoners every year, but it releases 27,000. That’s a rate of 74 people released per day! Ninety-eight percent of current inmates will someday get out. After all, that’s kind of the idea of prison: one gets sentenced there for a crime and pays one’s debt to society.

Now, it’s understandable that some people have concerns about the people identified in the current brouhaha and the sentences they were given. Some of them were likely overly lenient. That’s probably why the law was changed years ago for folks convicted of crimes going forward.

But that doesn’t mean we should try to change the law now. Anybody ever heard of the term “ex post facto“?

Moreover, it’s entirely possible that many of these middle aged to older former offenders will do more good for society and their victim’s families by leading productive lives on the outside than they will by eating up $25,000 or so a year of taxpayer money on the inside. Let’s hope so.

And let’s hope that our political leaders (when they’re done pandering) expend at least a little energy to help assure that the released inmates have something of a chance to be productive citizens. That would be the best way for Governor Perdue to make the best of a bad situation.

One Comment


  1. TT

    October 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    This is all political “grandstanding” by the governor.
    There are more important and relevant issues concerning
    crime than the release of these inmates due to an actual
    legal decision. Too bad the politicans don’t spend more
    on rehabilitating inmates instead of knee jerking over
    the release of these people.
    The same “cowering” to the old Jesse Helms crowd
    whether Republicans or Democrats. It is time for our
    state to move on from the outdated and backward thinking
    of the morally hypocritical politicians that control our
    state.

Check Also

What you need to know about the new report on Trumpcare

Health policy expert Brendan Riley of the N.C. ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the North Carolina GOP drew unconstitutionally racially ger [...]

As the N.C. House puts together its budget this week, the same thought is on the minds of representa [...]

Wednesday was the 63rd anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the milestone U.S. Sup [...]

The most shameful thing about the disastrous budget passed by the Senate two weeks ago is not the vi [...]

Court setbacks, public opinion, progressive activism and Trump bode ill for NC conservatives Profess [...]

So, the question as always comes down to one of vision. The elected chieftains who decide how much m [...]

2.8 billion---amount in dollars of needs in communities across the state for rebuilding efforts from [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more