Legislature considering probation bill

May 13, 2009 3:55:26 AM PDT
Long sessions are expected today in the State House and the Senate.It's the last day that lawmakers can make sure their measures can meet a key deadline. One of the hot button bills up for discussion involves changes to the state's probation system.

Governor Beverly Perdue has been vocal about her desire to change the system. "These folks can do their job if I give them the tools and the capacity to do their jobs," Perdue said.

She favors warrantless searches, making juvenile records available to probation officers. Also, she wants changes to Viper, the state's emergency radio system.

Perdue wants the changes because of the murders of Duke's Abhijit Mahato and UNC's Eve Carson. Both students allegedly were killed by suspects who violated their probation long before the state realized the suspects were in violation.

The arrests of Demario Atwater, who is charged in Carson's death, and Lawrence Lovette, Jr., who is accused in Carson and Mahato's murder, caused the state to examine how long it takes parole officers to learn an offender has violated the law.

Perdue says changes to the system are long overdue.

"I'm doing everything I can do within the law and I'm trying to change the laws I have to be sure people are safe," Perdue said.

Dozens of other bills will be considered today. ABC11 will update you on today's legislative activity as details become available.


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