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Glossary of Corrections Related Terms 

This page is a glossary of Corrections related terms present in this website. The terms are listed in alphabetic order. Use the bookmarks below to help locate specific terms. 

A thru C, D thru I, J thru Q, R thru Z

Accessory After the Fact - An offender that associated with another or others with intent to aid or support an unlawful act.

Accessory Before the Fact - An offender that associated with another or others with intent to aid or support an unlawful act.

Admissions- Excludes captures (unlike Old Statistical Abstract).

Aid and Abet - The act of promoting or giving assistance to someone committing an unlawful act.

Attempted- Having made an effort to commit an unlawful act. 

Change in Supervision Type - When inmates change from probation or parole status to dual status, that is, they are on both probation and parole concurrently, they are considered a new entry to the second type. For example, if an inmate is paroled from prison, and is subsequently put on probation for another crime while still serving the parole term, the inmate is a new entry to probation who is classified as a Change in Supervision Type entry.

Close Custody - inmates that need extra security and are typically felon offenders who have known records of, or potentials for, significant institutional or community misbehavior. Close custody facilities provide a high level of supervision and tightly controlled perimeters. Basic education, counseling and work programs are available to inmates in close custody.

Close Other-State Case - Probation or parole cases are closed for Interstate Correctional Compact cases when the client moves out of state, and can be supervised by that state’s correction department.

Completion of Probation - This term implies that an offender on probation has been released from supervision having served his or her entire term without being revoked.

Conditional Commutation - The Governor has the authority to commute a sentence, that is, declare that the offender has paid his debt to society or was not guilty in the first place, and terminate the sentence, either for prisoners or probationers. The Governor may, in his discretion, commute a sentence for an offender subject to conditions, and the Governor can then reinstate the sentence for noncompliance. This is fairly rare.

Conspiracy to Commit - Entering into an agreement with at least one other person to commit an unlawful act.

Convicted- Status of a person found guilty of a crime by a court.

Cost per Inmate/Probationer Per Day - Per day costs are useful in comparing programs and custody levels because they break down large budget figures into a manageable, conceivable format. Total budgetary operating expenditures are divided by the population of inmates or probationers, the result of which is divided by the number of days in a year. 

Court/NCPC Termination - Probationers or parolees may be released from their period of supervision early because the sentencing court (for probationers) or the Parole Commission (for parolees) determines that the defendant was sentenced erroneously or has in fact completed all required conditions and is eligible for early release.

Court-Ordered Release - When a sentencing court determines that it made an error in sentencing a defendant to prison, it may order the Department of Correction to release the defendant from prison. Additionally, PSD’s and Safekeepers who are released are counted as court-ordered releases, as well as defendants released pursuant to an appeal.

DART - Drug/Alcohol Recovery Treatment program. DART is now administered by the Division of Alcohol and Chemical Dependency. Among its responsibilities is a 35-day treatment process available to inmates based upon either a judicial recommendation or a needs assessment by prison staff.

Direct Admissions - Admissions to prison resulting from a court-imposed active sentence. This is distinguished from admissions resulting from probation or parole/post-release revocations, or other, less common methods of admission (see definitions for Re-Admissions and Returned from Parole below).  Also referred to as New Admissions.

Dual Supervision - Offenders are considered dual supervision cases when they have been released from prison with parole supervision, and are also serving a concurrent period of court-imposed probation.

Early Termination - Some probationers may be released early from supervision when they have complied with all conditions of their probation and their probation officer recommends to the court that their case be closed.

Elect to Serve - Probationers may opt to serve their active sentence in lieu of complying with their supervision conditions. Under Fair Sentencing with the prison population cap in effect, this was an attractive option for some offenders since time served on an active sentence would frequently be much shorter than a probation term.

Enterprise - Enterprise programs involve inmates in an industrial job on site at the prison. Several prisons have Enterprise plants which perform a broad range of industrial-type services. These programs provide inmates with job skills, as well as some income to assist in the payment of court-ordered debts. The products and services produced by Enterprise activities also help generate income for the prison system itself to offset some of the cost to the taxpayers. 

House Arrest with Electronic Monitoring - A special condition of Probation or Parole, under which offenders are confined to their residences at all times, with only those exceptions which the Court, Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission or Supervising Officer may authorize (employment, school and the completion of treatment are generally the only exceptions). The enhanced control techniques used in House Arrest ensure heightened supervision and accountability through 24 hour surveillance and electronic monitoring with immediate response to violations.

ICC Case - Interstate Correctional Compact case. The compact is an agreement between North Carolina and other states whereby North Carolina’s Department of Correction provides supervision to residents who were convicted of crimes in other states, and other states provide supervision to their residents who have convictions in North Carolina.

IMPACT - Intensive Motivational Program of Alternative Correctional Treatment. This is the state’s correctional boot camp program, which currently has two sites: Hoffman and Morganton. The program is a 90-day shock incarceration with military discipline and heavy reliance on physical labor and personal growth rehabilitation. A shock incarceration program is a short, intensive period of incarceration usually for young or first-time offenders to deter later criminal activity. The program is operated by the Division of Prisons, therefore an admission to IMPACT is counted as a prison admission, but a term at IMPACT is considered a special condition of a probationary sentence. 

Intensive Supervision Program - An intermediate sanction reserved for higher risk offenders. These offenders are either initially sentenced by the Court, Paroled by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission, or placed as a result of the violation process. Intensive is a level of supervision that encompasses all efforts of the Intensive Team to protect society from further overt, damaging acts by the offender and to help the offender change patterns of behavior in order to complete the period of supervision. The Intensive Team has the responsibility to know with reasonable certainty the type of day-to-day life the offender is living and to arrange special treatment or services. Reduced caseloads afford and assure that a high level of control and treatment will occur.

Maximum Custody - Maximum custody is no longer defined as a unique custody level. Prisoners that demonstrate through their behavior that they are a clear and present danger to society and other inmates are now managed with a more stringent level of internal control defined within the classification status of "Maximum Control". Privileges are limited, security precautions are strict, and these inmates are isolated from the general prison population in secure housing areas. 

Medium Custody - Units that have all programs and activities operating within the unit under the supervision of armed personnel, except for certain work assignments. Programs available to inmates include academic and vocational education, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, psychological and other counseling programs, and varied work assignments.

Minimum Custody - Units that provide a wide variety of programs for inmates ranging from on-site academic and vocational schools to off-site work or study release. Minimum custody inmates are misdemeanants and those selected felons that have either little time remaining on their sentence or who have been determined not to present a high security or escape risk. These units do not have manned gun towers or other security devices. Selected inmates are allowed to work outside prison confines in the community for the prevailing wage. They help their families by sending money home, pay taxes and otherwise lessen the financial burden of incarceration.

Parole - A release from prison subject to compliance with conditions set by the Parole and Post-Release Supervision Commission. Supervised parole offenders will be assigned to a parole officer. The Structured Sentencing Act of 1993 abolished parole for offenders sentenced after October 1, 1994, but parole will continue to be available to offenders who entered prison under earlier sentencing laws.

Parole Entries - A person is counted as a parole entry when he begins parole supervision. This occurs because of a release from prison subject to conditions set by the Parole and Post Release Supervision Commission. In some cases an offender may have an existing probation case. This means that the offender is on dual supervision status, q.v. (This represents a change from earlier practices. In 1994 and earlier we counted an entry only if not also under probation supervision when parole occurs. For this reason, and possibly some others, our counts are higher than before. We have recomputed 1994 entries according to the new criteria as well as the old [in parentheses] to show the difference.) 

Parole Separations - A person is counted as a parole separation when he changes from being under parole supervision to not being under parole supervision. This can occur because of death, or because he completes his imposed term, or because he is revoked, or because the Parole Commission terminates supervision before expiration. When this event occurs, he may remain in prison or under probation supervision for another crime. (This represents a change from earlier practices. In 1994 and earlier we counted a separation only when both probation and parole were ended. For this reason, and possibly some others, our counts are higher than before. We have recomputed 1994 separations according to the new criteria as well as the old [in parentheses] to show the difference.) 

Post-Release Supervision - Post-release supervision is a reintegrative program for serious offenders who have served extensive prison terms. This form of supervision was created by the Structured Sentencing Act of 1993 to replace parole supervision for offenders who had served long prison sentences and needed assistance in readjusting to life outside of the correctional institution. As finally implemented, post-release supervision is required of all Class B1 through E felons. 

Principle Who Commits - The person which is guilty of committing the crime.

Pre-Sentence Diagnostic (PSD) - Unsentenced but convicted offenders may be admitted to prison for testing and assessment in a diagnostic center when a judge wants a very thorough risk/needs assessment prior to sentencing.

Probation - All offenders convicted in North Carolina will receive either a sentence to incarceration or a fine. Frequently, however, a judge will suspend the incarceration on the condition that the offender comply with certain conditions. If a specific time period is set for this compliance, the offender is on Probation. Offenders may be supervised or unsupervised. This report only covers supervised offenders.

Probation Entries - A person is counted as a probation entry when he begins probation supervision. This occurs because of a court commitment to a suspended sentence with supervision conditions. In some cases an offender may have an existing parole case. This means that the offender is on dual supervision status, q.v. (This represents a change from earlier practices. In 1994 and earlier we counted an entry only if not also under parole when probation occurs. For this reason, and possibly some others, our counts are higher than before. We have recomputed 1994 entries according to the new criteria as well as the old [in parentheses] to show the difference.) 

Re-Admissions - Re-admissions to prison are offenders who have previously been in prison in North Carolina on a different term of confinement.

Returned from Parole - Offenders who fail to comply with conditions of parole or post-release will be returned to prison, and are considered a category of admission.

Safekeepers - Unsentenced defendants may be admitted to prison if they are considered too dangerous to hold in a county jail while awaiting trial. They may also be admitted to prison, which can provide more security, as a safekeeper if being held in a local jail could pose a danger to them from other jail inmates or members of the public, or for medical care.

Sentence Expired - Some prison inmates must be released because they have served all of their sentence. These releases are sometimes referred to as “max-outs.” Under the Fair Sentencing Act, there was a mandatory parole for most felons 90 days prior to their maximum sentence length so they could be supervised in the community for that three month period.

Violent Crime - A category of crime where the victim is a specific person or group of persons, and the crime results, or could result, in bodily injury. This is considered the most serious category of crime in general. Violent crimes range from misdemeanor assaults which do not result in bodily harm, up to first degree murder. Violent crimes include first and second degree murder, manslaughter, robbery, assault, sexual assault, other sexual offense, abduction and other person, and other offense against person.

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Updated on 4-29-2002