Friday, December 12, 2008

The wrong Guy for probation

For 11 years state probation director Robert Guy has kept deadly problems in his department at a bureaucratic arm’s length, accepting the status quo when he should have been pushing solutions and relief for his department.
That put many North Carolina lives in harm's way.
Now he needs to go. He's the wrong Guy for that job.
An investigation by the (Raleigh) News & Observer uncovered this deadly statistic: Since the start of 2000, at least 580 people have been killed in North Carolina while under the watch of state probation officers. That’s 17 percent of all convictions for intentional killing.
Why? The investigation found the system loses thousands of criminals because it does not have enough officers to handle caseloads. In some cases examined by the newspaper, probation officers botched paperwork, failing at basic tasks such as filing arrest warrants or hooking offenders to electronic house arrest. In many others, officers were simply overwhelmed by workloads, players in a system plagued by poor pay, high turnover, high vacancies and an antiquated court computer database.
Guy, and his boss, Corrections Secretary Theodis Beck, haven't pushed reforms. They just stood by. There’s no excuse for that.
Guy should resign. If he doesn't governor-elect Beverly Perdue should give both him and Beck the boot when she takes office in January.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment. Having devoted more than four decades to the criminal justice system, most of which involved employment in the community corrections field, I find the recent news articles about the North Carolina probation system very troubling. What is occuring in North Carolina reflects unfavorably on the probation profession throughout the United States. I understand that Mr. Beck has announced he will retire early next year. Mr. Guy should follow that lead; if he does not, the new Governor should terminate him. There is an obvious leadership void in community corrections in North Carolina.

barkomomma said...

Casting a broader net: There is an obvious leadership void in (your concern here) in North Carolina.