This survey examined the effects of the recent recession on North Carolina's criminal justice system.
The Criminal Justice Analysis Center of the North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission conducted a survey across North Carolina law enforcement agencies to determine the effect the recent economic downturn has had on the State's law enforcement and criminal justice systems. Data were collected in a 2-part phone survey given to 20 police departments and 20 sheriff's offices across the State. The main areas of the survey covered agency funding, personnel, and crime in each jurisdiction. Main findings from the survey include: 1) 8 percent of the agencies surveyed did not need any increase in officers to achieve an ideal workforce, 18 percent of the agencies expected to downsize their staff, and 23 percent of the agencies expected to make significant reductions in staff; 2) regarding budget size, 25 percent expected to increase their budget, 58 percent expected to decrease their budget, and 18 percent expected no change in their budgets; 3) 73 percent of the State agencies planned to reduce overtime, compared to 61 percent of agencies nationwide; 4) 55 percent of sheriff's office reported substantial increases in jail populations; 5) 68 percent of agencies reported their jurisdiction safer, or as safe as the previous year; 6) 70 percent of the agencies noted a change in violent crime rates; 7) 50 percent of the sheriff's offices increased use of civilian staff; and 8) budget cuts were more likely to be directed towards investigative units. Figures, appendixes, and references