FAMM supports policies that benefit families, incarcerated people, and taxpayers. By implementing evidence-based reforms, state lawmakers can save taxpayer dollars or redirect those savings to proven alternatives to reduce crime and recidivism. To get involved in our work in North Carolina, sign up for our emails and contact our Deputy Policy Director, Maria Goellner, at email@example.com.
2023 Legislative Priorities
Our justice system imprisons people to deter crime, punish those who commit crimes, protect the public, and rehabilitate prisoners who will one day return home. At FAMM, we believe prisoners should be released when they are too debilitated to commit further crimes, too compromised to benefit from rehabilitation, or too impaired to be aware of punishment. North Carolina has many aging and ill people whose continued incarceration is expensive, unnecessary, and unjust. North Carolina’s current law allowing for discretionary release of old and sick people should be expanded and improved.
HB 511: North Carolina First Step Act:
In June 2020, the state legislature passed the North Carolina First Step Act (HB 511). HB 511 creates a “safety valve” that allows courts to depart from the mandatory minimum for some drug trafficking offenses, and instead impose a sentence that is within the state’s structured sentencing guidelines based on the classification of the offense (e.g., Class C, D, etc.). The bill was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly on June 17, 2020, and takes effect on December 1, 2020. The safety valve is not retroactive and does not help people sentenced before December 1, 2020. However, it does allow some people already serving mandatory minimum sentences for the smallest drug amounts that trigger those sentences to file motions in court for sentence reductions, if they meet certain criteria. Please read our summary to understand who qualifies for a safety valve under HB 511.
Stories from Affected Families: Kenneth “Graham” Stanley
SB 562: The Second Chance Act:
The Second Chance Act (SB 562) was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in June 2020. The new law allows people to petition the court for an expunction (also known as an expungement) of North Carolina state criminal charges that were dismissed, or for which they were found not guilty. It also allows for expunction of some North Carolina state juvenile convictions and “nonviolent misdemeanor” and “nonviolent felony” convictions. An expunction removes a criminal charge or conviction from a person’s criminal record. Please read our summary to understand who qualifies for an expunction under SB 562.
- Disability Rights North Carolina: https://disabilityrightsnc.org/
- ACLU North Carolina: https://www.acluofnorthcarolina.org/
- North Carolina Justice Center: https://www.ncjustice.org/statement-harmful-budget-fails-to-invest-in-healthcare-education/
- Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform: https://www.ccjrnc.org/