Criminal Justice Reform in North Carolina


North Carolina’s prison systems are in desperate need of reform. In January of 2018, Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks reported that corrections officials are poorly trained and prisons provide insufficient mental health treatment, over rely on solitary confinement, and are underfunded.


Since 2019, North Carolina has been taking steps in the right direction to remedy its lack of control in prisons:

  • In May of 2019, lawmakers passed legislation that prevents ex-offenders from being automatically denied an occupational license simply because of their criminal history. This measure makes it possible for ex-offenders to get jobs more easily.
  • In November of 2019, a bill was passed that orders the Program Evaluation Division to look into and study new ways of managing both adult correction and juvenile justice.
  • Necessary Reforms

    In order to improve its system even further, North Carolina should look to similar programs implemented in states such as Texas. By creating more rehabilitation programs, Texas saw a decrease in recidivism as well as reduction in the prison population. In future reforms, North Carolina should take similar steps to reduce the prison population, improve public safety, and save taxpayer dollars.

    Identification of legislation should not be considered an endorsement of support of, or opposition to, such bills.

    Coalition Letter to North Carolina Legislators on the Second Chance Act (2019)

    Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform in North Carolina

    North Carolina Second Chance Act Press Release