Parole was eliminated in North Carolina in 1994, when the legislature enacted structured sentencing. Instead, those who receive structured sentences from that point forward are eligible for post-release supervision (PRS). Those who committed crimes prior to the enactment of structured sentencing are still eligible for parole and are governed by the laws in effect at the time of their crime.

What Is Post-Release Supervision?

As of 2011, the Justice Reinvestment Act required all individuals convicted of a felony-level offense, sentenced to an active prison time to go through a period of post-release supervision for a specified time period, depending on the offense level of their conviction:

  • Class B1- E felony conviction: 12 months PRS
  • Class F – I felony conviction: 9 months PRS

Those sentenced to life without parole for a Class A felony or Class B1 felony are not eligible for post-release supervision; the offender will not be released from prison until death. Other Class B1 felony convictions that do not result in a life sentence are eligible for PRS. Post-release supervision for those convicted of a sex offense and sentenced to register as a sex offender is five years.

The North Carolina legislature outlined four goals of post-release supervision:

  • To monitor and control the prisoner in the community
  • To assist the prisoner in reintegrating into society
  • To collect restitution and other court indebtedness from the prisoner
  • To continue the prisoner’s treatment or education

Mandatory post-release supervision for all felony-level offenders in North Carolina is intended to lower the number of re-offenders, reducing recidivism by providing structured monitoring to those re-entering private life after a prison term. During this time, conditions are placed on the individual by the North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission that may include a restriction on committing other crimes, treatment requirements, restrictions on carrying a weapon, and a variety of other issues.

When Is An Inmate Eligible For Post-Release Supervision?

Under the structured sentencing system, a person convicted of a felony-level offense given an active sentence will be sentenced to a range of time in prison that includes both a minimum and maximum time period. A felony offender must serve 100 percent of the minimum sentence and at least 85 percent of the maximum sentence before being eligible for release from prison to PRS.

Information about North Carolinas Post Release Supervision program

An offender who has been given an active sentence will be released from prison into the supervised release program 12 months before the date of his or her maximum sentence if convicted of a Class B1 through Class E felony. An inmate will be released from prison to the supervised release program 9 months before the date of his or her maximum sentence if convicted of Class F through Class I felony.

If the offender is released before the PRS date because of applicable credits against his or her sentence or because he or she has served the minimum sentence and is otherwise eligible for release, that person will then spend another 9-12 months on supervised release.

Post-release supervision is mandatory. You cannot choose not to participate. If you do not cooperate with the terms of your post-release supervision, you can go back to prison.

For those who are sentenced on multiple felony counts, there will be only one PRS term of either 9 or 12 months, as applicable. To determine the minimum time that you must serve in prison, the minimum sentences for all convicted offenses are added together. To determine the maximum time that you must serve in prison, the maximum sentences for all convicted offenses that must be served consecutively are added together and then the PRS terms for the second and any subsequent offenses are subtracted.

This may be confusing. If you have questions about post-release supervision, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney. An understanding of North Carolina’s structured sentencing system and how active prison terms can be shortened through the PRS process is something you should look for in any defense attorney you hire.

More information: Sentencing in North Carolina.

State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.

In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive-by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.

State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.

Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.

State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed..

After conducting an investigation and communicating with the prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.

State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death..

Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.

State v. J.G.:

Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.