On Probation: Serving a Probationary Sentence in North Carolina

Monday, October 14, 2019
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For this Spanish translation, click here.

This book, sold in packs of 10, is about probation. In North Carolina, probation is a form of punishment in which a defendant can avoiding serving a suspended term of imprisonment by complying with a set of conditions imposed by the sentencing judge. If the probation is supervised, the defendant will have a probation officer—an employee of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety who monitors the case and reports violations to the judge. Probation can also be used to monitor a person’s compliance with a diversion program like a deferred prosecution or conditional discharge (for example, “90-96,” a diversionary option for certain drug possession crimes). 

Probation is not to be confused with post-release supervision or parole. Those are supervision periods that follow a person’s release from prison, and which are managed by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission in Raleigh, not by the courts. Probation comes before a term of imprisonment. In fact, if a person does well on probation, he or she will never go to prison at all. 

This is the second issue in a series of graphic novels explaining North Carolina’s sentencing laws. Presenting the information in illustrated form is by no means intended to make light of a serious topic. It is, rather, offered as an accessible way to explain a complicated subject. It is meant to give crime victims, defendants, inmates, probationers, and their families an understandable resource that translates the words and numbers on a sentencing judgment into a practical reality. I hope it will be useful to judges, lawyers, and probation officers, too.

First issue—In Prison: Serving a Felony Sentence in North Carolina

Publication date: 
Monday, October 14, 2019
James M. Markham
Page count: