Corrections officials to discuss probation review

August 15, 2008 11:56:41 AM PDT
ABC 11 Eyewitness News has learned at least two top-ranking corrections officials in North Carolina will travel to Washington, D.C. next week to discuss the results of an independent review of the state's troubled probation system.Corrections Secretary Theodis Beck and Community Corrections Director Robert Guy will meet with representatives of the National Institute of Corrections who've spent months reviewing problems with the state's probation system brought to light by the brutal murders of two Triangle college students.

After an internal audit, correction officials acknowledged Demario Atwater, one of the suspects charged in the shooting death of UNC student body president Eve Carson, had violated his probation prior to his arrest. They also discovered Laurence Lovette, Jr.,a Durham teenager charged in Carson's murder and the shooting death of Duke graduate student Abhijit Mahato, had limited contact with his probation officer. Court records showed the probation officer had an extensive criminal record.

The N.I.C's final report will make suggestions on how the state's probation department can streamline its caseload and better improve its supervision of offenders, especially in urban areas.

The report comes as corrections officials make sweeping changes within the state's probation system. In recent months, there have been several resignations, early retirements and transfers within the department.

A Wake County probation manager was reassigned to a state prisons position. At least two probation managers were relocated to other offices. And Durham's probation team has additional managers to better handle its caseload.

An announcement on new managers in the Wake and Durham probation officers could come as early as next week. A department spokesperson said the final review of the state's probation system could be released soon after.