There is interesting news out of North Carolina, where important prison and probation reforms are headed to the Governor’s office. The Blue Ridge Times-News has the story:

Significant changes to North Carolina’s sentencing and probation laws designed to keep better track of offenders and discourage recidivism while scaling back prison construction are heading to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s desk.

The General Assembly gave its final approval Wednesday night to the so-called “Justice Reinvestment Act” developed with the help of outside researchers and interest groups. The House agreed to changes approved by the Senate earlier in the day.

The measure would allow the state to place short-term punishments on probationers to help them avoid serious violations. More released felons would be supervised and repeat breaking-and-entering offenders could face tougher punishments. More misdemeanor violators would serve jail time. More first-time drug offenders can avoid prosecution.

Bill supporters argue the changes could result in the need for 3,000 fewer prison beds.