News

Everything You Need to Know About Clemency in North Carolina

By Ben Finholt and Jamie Lau On April 8, 2021, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 208, establishing the Juvenile Sentence Review Board. This board is a new mechanism for executive clemency, which has been described as “provid[ing] the ‘fail-safe’ in our criminal justice system.”[1] Often serving as the last resort for someone […]

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September 17, 2021

#StartSmall Provides Wilson Center Almost $500,000 Gift to Fund Forensics Reform Work

The Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law is excited to announce a nearly $500,000 gift from Twitter and Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall philanthropic initiative, to support a new project aimed at rethinking policy regarding how forensic evidence is used in criminal cases. “Unfortunately, the need for forensics reform has […]

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September 10, 2021

LEAD Program Allows Police Officers to Divert Individuals to Resources Instead of Arrest

By Neiman Araque Charlton Roberson, a Harm Reduction Specialist who works with the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Fayetteville, NC, and Cumberland County, said his colleagues working in emergency services or law enforcement often experience compassion fatigue. He explained how repeat offenders often imbue police officers with a sense of hopelessness and despair […]

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August 30, 2021

After One Year, Racial Equity in Criminal Justice Task Force Still Working Toward Change

By Travis Thorpe Jr. Our Gov. Roy Cooper founded the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC) with Executive Order 145 in June 2020. The mission of this task force is to promote equity in the criminal legal system for people of color. The main goal is to address the effects of systemic […]

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August 25, 2021

Connection, Trust, and Recovery: Interview with Eugene Wilson, NC FIT

Editor’s Note: If you’ve ever needed help but weren’t sure where to turn, then you know how important just one trustworthy guide can be. This blog post is part of an occasional series called “Connection, Trust, and Recovery,” by Michele Easter. The series is about how peer supporters can help people who are returning to […]

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August 12, 2021

Prison Gerrymandering Disenfranchises Incarcerated People in Political Process

By Annie Han Danny R. Young won a city council seat with just two write-in votes, one from his wife and the other from his neighbor. The city of Anamosa, Iowa was split into four wards, with each one containing about 1400 residents. But in Young’s ward, over 1300 of them were from the Anamosa […]

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August 10, 2021

North Carolina Prisons See Drop in COVID Cases For Now, Delta Could Bring New Threat

By Ruthie Kesri More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, 10,000+ North Carolina prison-incarcerated people have tested positive for the virus. In the last three months though, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) has noted a striking drop in the number of cases in the prison system. “Once people were able to […]

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August 9, 2021

Wilson Center Welcomes Ben Finholt in New Role Addressing Sentencing, Racial Disparities

Ben Finholt, Director of the Just Sentencing Project, joined the Wilson Center this month. He previously worked at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services. Finholt’s work at the Wilson Center will aim to address extreme sentencing and racial disparities categorically through policy, the courts, and executive clemency, with the goal of developing a model that can be exported nationally. […]

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August 4, 2021