Bill would fund two jail inspectors to examine county jails across North Carolina

BY: - March 27, 2023

A bill before the legislature would pay for two full-time jail inspectors to examine county detention facilities across the state. House Bill 380 would send $211,502 in recurring funds to the Department of Health and Human Services so the state could hire two new jail inspectors. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Carla Cunningham (D-Mecklenburg), references the […]

Budget would expand sheriffs’ ability to challenge jail investigations — and delay fixing alleged violations

BY: - July 1, 2022

County sheriffs and jailers could challenge violations uncovered during jail inspections conducted by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, according to a provision in the proposed state budget. Bill opponents say the measure undermines the state’s ability to regulate county jails and to enforce safety standards by allowing local authorities to immediately appeal the results of investigations. That could delay remedies for the violations while the appeal wends through the court system.

Report: Jail deaths increase in NC

BY: - March 24, 2022

More people died in North Carolina jails in 2020 from untreated medical conditions, suicide, or substance abuse-related causes than in any other year since 2013, when Disability Rights North Carolina began monitoring jail deaths. Fifty-six people died in jails in 2020, up from 49 in 2019, according to a report the organization released Thursday. The […]

In many parts of the U.S., people in jail can still go to the polls

BY: - March 11, 2022

HOUSTON — Damien Lewis had been detained in the Harris County Jail for a week. Other than the one hour a day he was allowed to walk around indoors and trips to court, he had been under quarantine and hadn’t left his cell. But on the day of the Texas primary earlier this month, a jail staff member escorted him down to a hallway on the jail’s first floor, which was lined with eight voting machines.

To combat opioid overdose deaths, state officials try medication-assisted therapy with select NC inmates

BY: - April 12, 2021

Doctors who treat people with opioid addictions often hear of former patients who have to restart their treatment after leaving jail or prison. Or worse, their former patients die of drug overdoses soon after their release.

Fewer people incarcerated in NC’s county jails during the pandemic, but the ones left are staying longer

BY: - January 5, 2021

Backlogged court system and delayed trials create social justice inequities during COVID-19

While the number of people in county jails has dropped because of the pandemic, some incarcerated people in North Carolina are staying locked up longer, a study monitoring these populations shows.

Report: A different approach to policing and mental health in Mecklenburg

BY: - October 8, 2019

North Carolina Health News published an in-depth look today at the state’s first behavioral health unit located in a county jail, which opened in August in Mecklenburg County. The jail psychiatric unit in downtown Charlotte, known as “McP,” looks like a school, according to the news article. Residents take daily medications, attend group classes and […]


This year in review: Lawmakers can do better for NC families, kids

BY: - December 26, 2018

The end of the year is near, and as we reflect on the biggest news, it’s also important to highlight what stories were near and dear to our heart. There were two meaningful stories that I covered this year — one about the struggles that people go through in North Carolina while trying to start […]

Visitation and profit at the Mecklenburg County Jail

BY: - January 16, 2018

If you haven’t yet, you need to go read this column by Toussaint Romaine in the Charlotte Observer. The Mecklenburg assistant public defender takes on the big business of visitation at the county jail. From the piece: Global Tel Link (GTL), a billion-dollar company, is working with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office to exploit poor […]