EQUITY IN JUSTICE ACT OF 2021.

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 656 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 6, 2021
AN ACT TO MAKE CRIMINAL JUSTICE, POLICING, AND JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Intro. by Mohammed, Chaudhuri, Murdock.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Apr 7 2021)

Bill History:

S 656

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Apr 12 2021 - More information

    Part I.

    Amends GS 17C-20 to open up eligibility for the Criminal Justice Fellows Program (Program) to all counties (was, tier one counties with a population of less than 125,000).

    Appropriates $663,579 in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department of Justice to be allocated to the Program for continued recruitment of qualified in-state high school seniors or unemployed/underemployed graduates and to provide them with a forgivable community college loan. Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part II.

    Amends GS 150B-1 to exempt from rule-making: (1) the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission with respect to establishing minimum standards for in-service training for criminal justice officers and (2) the Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission with respect to establishing minimum standards for in-service training for justice officers.

    Part III.

    Amends GS 15A-401(d)(2), which sets out when a law-enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force, by making the following changes. Adds that the use of deadly force includes strangleholds, chokeholds, lateral vascular neck restraints, carotid restraints, or any other tactics that restrict oxygen or blood flow to the head or neck. Adds that a law-enforcement officer who witnesses another law-enforcement officer using excessive force that is not justified or is otherwise abusing a suspect or arrestee has a duty to intervene and to report the use of excessive force or the abuse. Prohibits retaliating against a law enforcement officer that submits such a report. Requires in all circumstances in which a law-enforcement officer uses force of any kind, that a law-enforcement officer use the minimum amount of force reasonably necessary to accomplish the law-enforcement action and attempt to use de-escalation tactics.

    Enacts new GS 20-196.6 requiring every State Trooper to have a first aid kit and perform the following when a person in a State Trooper's custody is injured or complains of an injury: (1) render immediate, reasonable medical assistance when it is safe to do so and (2) contact emergency medical services when appropriate. 

    Enacts new GS 20-196.7 to require the State Highway Patrol to develop and implement a use of force intervention system to document and track State Trooper actions, behaviors, and citizen complaints on use of force that will help the State Highway Patrol manage personnel by intervening to correct performance. Requires the system to, at a minimum, identify State Troopers who receive two or more citizen complaints of any kind in a single month as well as those who report two or more use of force incidents, or who receive two or more citizen complaints regarding the use of force, in a single quarter. Defines use of force to include include actions taken by law enforcement officers of which the Department of Justice requires data reporting pursuant to GS 114-2.7A (enacted in this act and described below); until it is determined what is to be reported under that statue, use of force encompasses the actions in GS 143B-919(b1)(enacted in this act and described below).

    Enacts new GS 20-196.8 requiring the State Highway Patrol to report to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) State Trooper use of force information requested by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under new GS 114-2.7A (enacted in this act and described below).

    Enacts new GS 20-196.9 requiring the State Highway Patrol to report to the SBI information requested under new GS 143B-929A (enacted in this act and described below) to be included in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Record of Arrest and Prosecution Background (Rap Back) Service. Failure to report makes the State Highway Patrol ineligible for funding from either the Governor's Crime Commission or the Governor's Highway Safety Program.

    Enacts new GS 20-196.10 requiring the State Highway Patrol to use and submit all available data to the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which must be made available to the public on the State Highway Patrol's website.

    Enacts new GS 20-196.11 requiring State Troopers to use body-worn and dashboard cameras in all interactions with members of the public, including, but not limited to: traffic stops, pursuits, arrests, searches, interrogations not covered under GS 15A-211, interviews with victims and witnesses, and  interactions with inmates of a State correctional facility or local confinement facility. Specifies that this does not apply during undercover operations.

    Enacts new GS 74E-10.1 through GS 74E-10.6 enacting the same provisions, applicable to a company police agency. Amends the specified instances in which body-worn and dashboard cameras are to be used to include arrests, searches, interrogations not covered under GS 15A-211, and interviews with victims and witnesses.

    Enacts new GS 74G-10.1 through GS 74G-10.6 enacting the same provisions, applicable to a campus police agency. Amends the specified instances in which body-worn and dashboard cameras are to be used by including all interactions listed for State Troopers except interactions with inmates of a State correctional facility or local confinement facility.

    Enacts new GS 143B-927.1 through GS 143B-927.5 enacting the same provisions, applicable to the SBI, with the following changes. Requires the SBI to make publicly available law enforcement officer use of force information requested by the Department of Justice pursuant to GS 114-2.7A (other entities in the Part have been required to report such information to the SBI). Enacts new GS 143B-929A requiring the SBI, in consultation with the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission (collectively, Commissions), to participate in the Rap Back Service by submitting requested or necessary information regarding all sworn law enforcement officers with the power to arrest in the state. Requires the Commissions to create a publicly accessible database of law enforcement officers with adverse actions required to be reported to the federal Rap Back Service. Requires all of the law enforcement agencies in the state to provide the SBI information requested under this statute.

    Enacts new GS 153A-213 through GS 153A-213.5 enacting the same provisions, applicable to county law enforcement officers, with the following changes. Requires a county, before hiring a county law enforcement officer, to request and review Rap Back Service information from the SBI regarding the applicant.

    Enacts new GS 160A-290 through GS 160A-290.5, applicable to city law enforcement officers, with the following changes. Requires a city, before hiring a city law enforcement officer, to request and review Rap Back Service information from the SBI regarding the applicant.

    Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part IV.

    Amends GS 143B-919 by adding the following. Requires the SBI to investigate and prepare evidence in the event the following officer-involved use of force incidents related to the actions of a sworn law enforcement officer of the State or any local subdivision of the State: (1) an officer discharges the officer's firearm in the performance of the officer's duties, (2) an officer uses force in the performance of the officer's duties that results in the death of a person, (3) an officer is alleged to have sexually assaulted a person in the performance of the officer's duties, (4) an officer is alleged to have committed an act of domestic violence, or (5) a person dies while in the officer's custody. Requires an independent entity to conduct the investigation involving employee of the SBI. Requires reporting an incident that is required to be investigated within 24 hours; makes a law enforcement agency that fails to report ineligible for funds from the Governor's Crime Commission and the Governor's Highway Safety Program until the required report is delivered to the SBI. Repeated failure to report will result in ineligibility for those funds for two years. Requires prosecutions under these provisions to be performed by a Special Prosecutor. Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part V.

    Enacts new GS 114-2.7A requiring DOJ, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety, the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, to develop a uniform definition of law enforcement officer use of force and determine a standard set of data on use of force to be regularly reported to the SBI. Requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to provide the SBI with the information DOJ requires. Requires the SBI to make the information collected on use of force publicly available.

    Enacts new GS 114-2.7B. requiring all law enforcement agencies in the state to use and submit all available data to the National Incident-Based Reporting System. Requires this data to be publicly available on the law enforcement agency's website.

    Enacts new GS 114-2.7C to require all sworn law enforcement officers with the power of arrest to use body-worn and dashboard cameras in all interactions with members of the public, including, but not limited to: traffic stops, pursuits, arrests, searches, interrogations not covered under GS 15A-211, interviews with victims and witnesses, and interactions with inmates of a State correctional facility or local confinement facility. Specifies this does not apply during undercover operations. Gives the law enforcement entities until October 1, 2022, to comply with this section.

    Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part VI.

    Amends GS 15A-242 by making clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 15A-244 by adding in new (b) that for an officer to be able to break and enter any premises or vehicle in the execution of a search warrant pursuant to GS 15A-251(b) (when the officer has probable cause to believe that the giving of  notice would endanger the life or safety of any person) the application for a search warrant must contain, in addition to the already required elements:(1) a statement that there is probable cause to believe that the giving notice of the execution of the search warrant would endanger the life or safety of any person; (2) allegations of fact particularly setting forth the facts and circumstances establishing probable cause to believe that the giving of notice of the execution of the search warrant would cause such endangerment. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 15A-251 by amending one of the two circumstances under which an officer may break and enter any premises or vehicle when necessary to execute a warrant, to include when the warrant includes the statement and allegations of fact required by GS 15A-244(b) (was, when the officer has probable cause to believe that the giving of notice would endanger the life or safety of any person). 

    Makes clarifying changes to the following statutes and makes language gender neutral: GS 15A-245, GS 15A-246, GS 15A-247, GS 15A-249, GS 15A-253, GS 15A-254, and GS 15A-255. 

    Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part VII.

    Amends GS 132-1.4A to require, upon request, that a custodial law enforcement agency disclose a recording to a citizens' review board in a closed session with each review board member having signed a confidentiality agreement. Knowing violations of the confidentiality agreement are a Class 1 misdemeanor. Requires a a custodial law enforcement agency to release a recording involving a critical incident, upon request, after 45 days have passed from the date of the recording, unless a court finds that release would compromise the integrity of a criminal investigation. Defines a critical incident as an incident involving either (1) the discharge of a law enforcement officer's firearm in the performance of duty when interacting with the public or (2) the use of force by a law enforcement officer that results in death or serious bodily injury. Allows the agency to seek a court order restricting release of the recording; requires the court to restrict the release of only those portions of the recording that are relevant to protecting the integrity of a criminal investigation. Gives the following persons an opportunity to be heard at any proceeding: (1) the head of the custodial law enforcement agency, (2) any law enforcement agency personnel whose image or voice is in the recording and the head of that person's employing law enforcement agency, and (3) the District Attorney. Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part VIII.

    Appropriates $134,540 in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 fiscal biennium from the General Fund to the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to hire one full-time program manager to continue the development and implementation of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (Program). Makes the same appropriation to the Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission to continue the development and implementation of the same Program. Makes law enforcement agencies in the state that fail to become accredited under the Program ineligible for funds from the Governor's Crime Commission or the Governor's Highway Safety Program. Requires the Program to require accredited agencies to have written policies on each of the following: use of force, chokeholds, duty to intervene and report, vehicle pursuits, early warning systems, field training programs, and professional standards and conduct. Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part IX.

    Appropriates $500,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Justice in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 fiscal biennium for grants to organizations that provide and promote: (1) peaceful strategies to help communities promote public safety; (2) violence prevention programs that treat violence as a public health program; and (3) services such as mediation, mentoring, job training, and counseling to vulnerable populations. Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part X.

    Amends GS 90-95(d)(4) making possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI (marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols) an infraction, rather than a Class 3 or Class 1 misdemeanor based on quantity. Maintains that if the quantity possessed exceeds one and one-half ounces of marijuana or three-twentieths of an ounce of hashish, or any quantity of synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols or tetrahydrocannabinols isolated from the resin of marijuana, the offense is punishable as a Class I felony. 

    Enacts GS 15A-145.8B to establish automatic expunction for misdemeanor possession of marijuana or hashish convictions by December 1, 2023. Directs the clerk of superior court to determine which cases meet the criteria for expunction, order expungement for each case finalized in his or her court, and forward the petition to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Provides for the effect of the expungement regarding liability for failure to acknowledge any expunged entries concerning apprehension, charge, or trial. Additionally requires the court to order the conviction order expunged to be expunged from the records of the court and direct law enforcement agencies bearing record of the same to expunge their records of the conviction. Requires the clerk to notify State and local agencies of the court's order pursuant to state law, excluding DNA records and samples stored as specified. Provides for expungement of related records from any other State or local government agency, and reversal of any administrative action taken against a person whose record is expunged as a result of the charges or convictions expunged.

    Effective December 1, 2021.

    Part XI.

    Directs UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government (SOG) to study (1) which Class 3 misdemeanor offenses have a low impact on public safety, (2) whether the offenses should be reclassified as infractions, and (3) whether low-level traffic offenses should be moved to the Administrative Code and enforced as civil violations by the Division of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Public Safety. Requires consultation with the NC Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission. Requires SOG to report to the specified NCGA committee by March 7, 2022. 

    Part XII.

    Appropriates $4.2 million in recurring funds from the General Fund for each fiscal year of 2021-23 to AOC to be used to support the NC Drug Treatment Court Program in creating and sustaining local drug treatment court programs.

    Appropriates $4.2 million in recurring funds from the General Fund for each fiscal year of 2021-23 to AOC to be used to facilitate the creation and funding of new and existing mental health court programs to recommend mental health treatment plans for individuals served by the programs and monitor the progress of the individuals receiving treatment while remining in the program.

    Effective July 1, 2021. 

    Part XIII.

    Amends GS 7B-1501 and GS 143B-805 by amending the definitions of delinquent juveniles and undisciplined juveniles by increasing the minimum age of the juvenile from 6 to 12. 

    Repeals GS 7B-1903(f) effective four years from the date this act becomes law. Subsection f provides that if the court finds that there is a need for an evaluation of a juvenile for medical or psychiatric treatment under subsection (b) (which allows the court to order secure custody only where the court finds there is a reasonable factual basis to believe that the juvenile committed the offense as alleged in the petition, and that one of the specified circumstances exists) and that juvenile is under age 10 and does not have a pending delinquency charge, the law enforcement officer or other authorized person assuming custody of the juvenile must not use physical restraints during the transport of the juvenile to the place designated in the order, unless in the discretion of the officer or other authorized person, the restraints are reasonably necessary for the safety of the officer, authorized person, or the juvenile.

    Amends GS 7B-2102 to require a law enforcement officer or agency to fingerprint and photograph a juvenile (was, a juvenile who was 10 years of age or older) at the time the juvenile allegedly committed a nondivertible offense, when a complaint has been prepared for filing as a petition and the juvenile is in physical custody of law enforcement or the Division. Makes additional conforming changes, including those conforming to the new definition of delinquent juvenile.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-2513. 

    Amends GS 7B-2509 to allow the court in any case in which a juvenile, who was at least 12 (was, at least 11) years old at the time of the offense, is adjudicated delinquent for committing a violation of GS 14-27.6 (attempted rape or sexual offense), GS 14-27.21 (first-degree forcible rape), GS 14-27.22 (second-degree forcible rape), GS 14-27.24 (first-degree statutory rape), GS 14-27.26 (first-degree forcible sexual offense), GS 14-27.27 (second-degree forcible sexual offense), or GS 14-27.29 (first-degree statutory sexual offense), the judge, upon a finding that the juvenile is a danger to the community, may order that the juvenile register in accordance with Part 4 of Article 27A of GS Chapter 14.

    Part XIV.

    Enacts GS 115C-105.70, defining school resource officer (SRO) as any law enforcement officer assigned to one or more public schools within a public school unit for at least 20 hours per week for more than 12 weeks per calendar year. Provides that SROs are to assist with school safety, school security, emergency preparedness, emergency response, and any other related and assigned responsibilities, consistent with any written memorandum of understanding between the public school unit and the law enforcement agency governing the SRO. Directs the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission (Commissions) to establish initial training and continuing education standards for SROs, in collaboration with the Center for Safer Schools. Requires training on mental health, students with disabilities, racial equity, and crises intervention and de-escalation. Directs SROs to comply with the established training standards within one year of assignment, and requires all SROs to comply with the established continuing education requirements. Applies to SROs assigned on or after January 1, 2022.

    Makes conforming changes to each Commission’s duties set forth in GS 17C-6 and 17E-4 to include the duty to establish training and continuing education standards for SROs. Requires the Commissions to establish initial training standards by January 15, 2022.

    Requires all SROs assigned before January 1, 2022, to complete initial training by December 31, 2022.

    Enacts GS 7B-1802A, requiring an SRO to obtain the signature of a school administrator or school social worker for school-based complaints alleging delinquency initiated prior to referring the complaint to a juvenile court counselor or filing the complaint. Defines school-based complaint as a complaint in which delinquency is alleged to have occurred on school grounds, school property, at a school bus stop, or at an off-campus school-sanctioned event, or whose victim is identified as a school. Requires all school administrators, SROs, and school social workers to be trained regarding these provisions. Applies to school-based complaints initiated on or after January 1, 2022, by an SRO.

    Part XV.

    Amends GS 7B-2200.5 by allowing a prosecutor to decline to prosecute in superior court a matter that would be subject to mandatory transfer to superior court under the statute, which requires the transfer if a juvenile was 16 years of age or older at the time the juvenile allegedly committed an offense that would be a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, or G felony if it was committed by an adult. Specifies that jurisdiction remains with the juvenile court following a finding of probable cause if a prosecutor declines to prosecute the matter in superior court. Allows a prosecutor, prior to adjudication, to choose to transfer the matter to superior court. Makes conforming changes. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021.

    Part XVI.

    Revises Part 2A, Article 81B, of GS Chapter 15A, now titling the Part as Sentencing and Parole Eligibility for Certain Minors (was Sentencing for Minors Subject to Life Imprisonment Without Parole).

    Replaces the provisions of GS 15A-1340.19B, which provide for penalty determination, to instead provide as follows. Requires a defendant convicted of first degree murder who was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense to be sentenced to life imprisonment with parole and eligible for parole consideration after serving 25 years imprisonment (previously, the court was authorized to hold a hearing to order life imprisonment without parole). Adds that a defendant who was convicted of a crime other than first degree murder while the defendant was under 18 at the time of the offense and sentenced to more than 15 years imprisonment is eligible for parole consideration after serving 15 years imprisonment.

    Amends GS 15A-1340.19D to provide that defendants eligible for parole consideration under Part 2A, as amended, are subject to the conditions and procedures for parole set forth in Article 85, including notifications required under GS 15A-1371(b)(3) (which includes notification of the victim’s immediate family who have requested notification, and newspapers and media as reasonable). Sets the term of parole for a person released under Part 2A, as amended, at five years, which cannot be terminated earlier by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission. Requires serving five years upon returning to confinement before a defendant paroled under the Part who violated parole and is returned to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence to be eligible for parole.

    Makes conforming repeals of the remaining language in the Part in GS 15A-1340.19A and 15A-1340.19C.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 15A-1340.13, which requires sentenced offenders to serve the minimum term imposed.

    Amends GS 15A-1371, which provides for parole eligibility, consideration, and refusal, to deem a prisoner sentenced under the Fair Sentencing Act who was 18 at the time of the offense eligible for parole consideration after completion of 20 years imprisonment.

    Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021.

    Part XVII.

    Amends GS 15A-534 to prohibit judicial officials from imposing a bond secured by a cash deposit as a condition of pretrial release pursuant to subdivision (a)(4) if no charge against the defendant is more severe than a Class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanor, unless the judicial official makes written findings that the defendant will pose a danger of injury to any witness. Provides that when conditions of pretrial release are being imposed on a defendant who has failed to appear to answer one or more charges to which the conditions apply, and there are no conditions recommended in any order for arrest for the defendant’s most recent failure to appear, that the judicial official must require the execution of secured appearance bond (no longer specifying that the bond amount must be at least double that of the most recent previous bond for the charges, or if not applicable, at least $1,000). Makes clarifying and technical changes. Makes language gender-neutral. Applies to conditions of pretrial release imposed on or after October 1, 2021.

    Part XVIII.

    Enacts GS 20-24.1(g) to require the Division of Motor Vehicles (Division) to restore a license 12 months after the effective date of revocation pursuant to subsection (a) for either failing to appear at trial or a hearing or to pay court-ordered fines, penalties, or other court costs for motor vehicle offenses; excludes revocation orders entered resulting from a charge of impaired driving. Repeals existing subsection (f), which permits application to a court for a limited driving privilege valid for up to one year for licenses revoked due to failure to pay court-ordered fines, penalties, or other court costs for motor vehicle offenses. Makes conforming and clarifying changes. Makes language gender-neutral.

    Adds to GS 20-7 to authorize the Division to waive license restoration fees and other service fees if the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles finds that the license holder has shown good cause for not being able to pay the fine.

    Directs the Division to automatically restore any driver's licensed suspended for failure to pay after 12 months, except for offenses involving impaired driving.

    Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part XIX.

    Amends GS 15A-601 to require any defendant charged with a misdemeanor under a magistrate's order or by criminal process who is held in custody to have a first appearance before a district court judge in the district in which the crime is charged to have been committed. Specifies that this first appearance is a critical stage of the proceedings and that the defendant has the right to counsel. Requires a defendant's first appearance before a district court judge to be held at the earlier of the first regular session of the district court in the county or within 48 hours after the defendant is taken into custody (previously, alternatively within 96 hours after taken into custody). Makes conforming changes regarding the clerk's authority to conduct the first appearance if the district court judge is unavailable within this period. Adds that the defendant has the right to counsel at his or her first appearance before a district court judge for crimes in the original jurisdiction of superior court (governed by subsection (a)). Makes technical changes and language gender-neutral.

    Further amends GS 15A-534 to no longer mandate a judicial official to require a defendant who has failed to appear on one or more prior occasions to answer the charge(s) to which pretrial conditions apply to execute a secured appearance bond in an amount at least double the amount of the most recent previous secured or unsecured bond, or $1,000 if no bond has been required of the charges. Instead, requires the judicial official to require the execution of a secured appearance bond of at least $1,000. Eliminates the provisions governing the judicial official's authority regarding the determination of the conditions of pretrial release for a defendant who is charged with an offense who is currently on pretrial release for a prior offense.

    Enacts GS 15A-534.8 to require a defendant who remains in custody due to imposed conditions of pretrial release following an initial appearance to be brought before a district court judge for a preventative detention hearing within five days of the initial appearance. Requires that the hearing be separate from the defendant's first appearance. Provides for counsel at the hearing, with counsel provided at the expense of the State if the defendant is found to be indigent. Provides for the defendant to present evidence and testimony at the hearing to determine whether the pretrial conditions are necessary to ensure the safety of any person, with the State given the opportunity to respond, present evidence, and examine witnesses. Requires a judge to set new conditions if the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the imposed conditions are not necessary to reasonably prevent injury to any person, or to make written findings as to why the continued detention is necessary if the judge does not rule in favor of the defendant, with conditions continued unless lawfully modified.

    Effective October 1, 2021, and applies to conditions of pretrial release imposed on or after that date.

    Part XX.

    Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to automatically enroll all criminal defendants into its court date reminder system. Requires criminal defendants to be allowed to opt out of the automatic enrollment by using a process developed by AOC, which must be developed and implemented by December 1, 2021. Effective December 1, 2021, and applies to criminal defendants arrested on or after that court date.

    Enacts GS 15A-306 to require persons who fail to appear as required by a citation or other criminal process served pursuant to the Article to have 20 calendar days from the missed court date to contact the clerk of superior court to request a new court date. Mandates that such action requires the clerk to strike the person's failure to appear and any order for arrest or fines related to the failure to appear, and the clerk to provide a new court date in the case. Limits new court dates in criminal cases pursuant to these provisions to one. Effective October 1, 2021, and applies to failures to appear in court on or after that date.

    Part XXI.

    Revises and expands the qualifications for indigent defense under GS 7A-451. Now provides for indigent defense in any case in which (1) a felony or misdemeanor is charged (was, limited to cases in which imprisonment, or a fine of $500 or more, is likely to be adjudged) or (2) for motions for appropriate relief if appointment of counsel is authorized by law and the defendant has been convicted of a felony, has been fined $200 (was, $500) or more, or has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, among other existing eligibility criteria. Effective October 1, 2021.

    Appropriates $1.18 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Office of Indigent Defense Services, Private Assigned Counsel Fund, for each fiscal year of 2021-23 to fund the increased need of appointed counsel due to the expansion of eligibility. Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part XXII.

    Revises Article 1 of GS Chapter 9 regarding preparation of jury lists and drawing of panels as follows.

    Amends GS 9-2 to require the jury commission to annually prepare a master list of qualified prospective jurors to serve on January 1 of the next year (previously provided for biennium lists, or upon request of the senior resident superior court judge, annually). Makes conforming changes.

    Makes a clarifying change to GS 9-4 to refer to the clerk of superior court's duty to maintain the master jury list.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 20-43.4 regarding the list of currently licensed drivers that must be provided by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Commissioner) to each county jury commission, now annually. Now requires the list to include the driver's race. Enacts subsection (b1) to require the raw data of date of birth, sex, and race to be used to develop the list provided by the Commissioner to be made available for analysis by clerks of court, jury commissions, and the public. Makes conforming changes.

    Further amends GS 9-2, enacting subsection (l) to require the data of date of birth, sex, and race to be compiled by each county as public records for master jury lists, lists of jurors summoned, lists of jurors that have served, lists of jurors that have been excused, lists of jurors that have been disqualified, and lists of jurors whose service has been deferred. Applies to lists prepared on or after October 1, 2021.

    Part XXIII.

    Enacts Article 83A, Dignity for Women Who are Incarcerated Act, in GS Chapter 15A. Sets forth 11 defined terms.

    Prohibits Department of Public Safety (DPS) and correctional facility employees from using leg restraints, wrist restraints, restraints connected to other incarcerated persons, or waist shackles on pregnant incarcerated women during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, during labor and delivery, and during the six-week postpartum recovery period. Defines correctional facility employee to include DPS employees and any persons employed by a correctional facility, defined to mean any unit of the State prison system, a local confinement facility, a juvenile detention facility, or other entity under the authority of any state or local law enforcement agency that has the power to detain or restrain a person under state law. Restricts use of wrist restraints during the postpartum recovery period to being held in front of her body, if the employee determines extraordinary circumstances exist, as defined, and the employee makes a written report to the warden or administrator within 72 hours containing justification for the use of the restraints. Clarifies that the provisions do not affect licensed health care professionals' use of medical restraints to ensure the medical safety of a pregnant incarcerated woman.

    Prohibits correctional facility employees from conducting invasive body cavity searches of incarcerated women who are pregnant or in the postpartum recovery period unless the employee has compelling grounds to believe the person is concealing contraband that presents an immediate threat or harm to the person, fetus, or another person, and the employee submits a written report to the warden or the administrator within 72 hours containing the justification for the search.

    Requires DPS and administrators of correctional facilities to ensure pregnant incarcerated women are provided sufficient food and dietary supplements, and access to food at appropriate times of day, as ordered by a physician, physician staff member, or a correctional facility nutritionist as specified.

    Prohibits DPS and administrators of correctional facilities from placing pregnant incarcerated women or incarcerated persons in the postpartum recovery period in restrictive housing, as defined, unless the employee makes a determination that an extraordinary circumstance exists, as defined, and submits a written report to the warden or administrator within 72 hours containing the justification for the placement.

    Prohibits DPS and correctional facility administrators from assigning incarcerated women who are pregnant or in the postpartum recovery period to any bed that is elevated more than 3 feet from the floor of the facility.

    Requires prenatal, labor, and delivery care to be provided to pregnant incarcerated women at no cost to the incarcerated woman.

    Directs the warden or administrator of the correctional facility to compile a monthly summary of all written reports received as required under the Article and submit the summary to the DPS Secretary.

    Requires DPS and correctional facility administrators to permit a newborn to remain with the incarcerated woman for at least 72 hours unless the medical provider has a reasonable belief that remaining poses a health or safety risk to the newborn. Requires DPS and administrators to make all necessary nutritional and hygiene products available during the postpartum recovery period, provided at no cost to the incarcerated woman.

    Mandates DPS to place incarcerated persons in the custody of the State prison system who are parents of minor children within 250 miles of their permanent address to the extent practicable and after accounting for security and capacity. Requires DPS and administrators of correctional facilities to adopt visitation rules for persons with low- or minimum-security classifications who are parents to minor children to allow for visitation by the minors at least twice a week (except as specified) with no limitation on the number of dependent minors that may be permitted privileges and requires authorization of contact visits.

    Requires DPS and administrators of correctional facilities to issue regulations that limit inspections by male employees when a female incarcerated person is in a state of undress to the greatest extent practicable and consistent with safety and order, and availability of female employees. Requires male correctional employees to make a written report within 72 hours containing the justification for inspection of a female incarcerated person while in a state of undress.

    Requires DPS and administrators of correctional facilities to ensure availability of sufficient menstrual products for all incarcerated women as appropriate, at no cost to the incarcerated women.

    Directs DPS and administrators of correctional facilities to develop and provide all correctional facility employees who have contact with pregnant incarcerated women training related to the physical and mental needs of pregnant incarcerated women and fetuses, as specified. Requires consultation with specified divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services. Also directs DPS and administrators of correctional facilities to develop and provide educational programming for pregnant incarcerated women, as specified. 

    Revises GS 143B-702 to make rules and regulations adopted by the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice subject to new Article 83A, GS Chapter 15A.

    Enacts GS 153A-221.2 to subject local confinement facilities to the requirements of new Article 83A, GS Chapter 15A.

    Effective October 1, 2021.

    Part XXIV.

    Includes a severability clause.

    Part XXV.

    Provides that the act is effective on the date the act becomes law, unless otherwise provided.


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