Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Popular Government Vol. 48 Issue 1, Summer 1982
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A trend of increasing prison population both nationally and in the state was noted in the late 1970s into the early 1980s. Prisoner population became a pressing issue for the state because in 1981 the state ranked fifth with highest prisoner population serving one year plus sentences. The article explores prisoner demographics, possible reasons for growing number of prisoners, and how to both address and prevent future increases
To stem the growing number of prisoners, a Citizens' Commission on Alternatives to Incarceration was formed in 1978. The committee gathered to propose other types of punishment for criminals besides prison sentences due to the increase the state's prison facilities. Some solutions proposed by the committee included expanding probation, monetary penalties such as increased use of fines, more preemptive treatment, and more community service options.
Concern for disappearing prime agricultural land to development was a major concern for legislators after a national report called the National Agricultural Lands Study released in 1981. State representatives met at the bequest of Governor Hunt on December 17, 1981 at North Carolina State University for the Conference on Retention of Prime and Important Farm and Forest Lands. The article reviews the rate at which the state was losing agricultural lands to development and ways to conserve the state's natural and agricultural assets.
With prison overpopulation in the early eighties state lawmakers reviewed restitution, specifically financial restitution, and whether it acted as a deterrent for future crimes. Courts chose from three different forms of restitution: financial repayment, service to the victim, or community service. The article explores the type of crimes and corresponding financial restitution.
Tax-increment financing is a program allowing cities to borrow fund for development projects and repay those loans through increased taxes. In Spring 1982, the General Assembly approved tax-increment financing programs and put to a public vote in the fall of 1982. The article reviews pros and cons of tax-increment financing and a voters' guide on the subject.