About Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission

To make recommendations to the General Assembly for the modification of sentencing laws and policies.

The North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission was created by the General Assembly in 1990 to make recommendations to the General Assembly for the modification of sentencing laws and policies, and for the addition, deletion, or expansion of sentencing options as necessary to achieve policy goals. Specifically, the Commission was directed to:

  • Classify criminal offenses into felony and misdemeanor categories on the basis of their severity;
  • Recommend structures for use by a sentencing court in determining the most appropriate sentence to be imposed in a criminal case;
  • Develop a correctional population simulation model;
  • Recommend a comprehensive community corrections strategy and organizational structure for the State; and,
  • Study and make additional policy recommendations.

The Commission has 28 members drawn from all three branches of government; from all areas of the criminal justice system; and from the public. The Commission's prior work led to the passage of the Structured Sentencing Act which became effective in 1994. That law established truth in sentencing and prescribed sentencing options for judges based on the severity of the crime and the prior record of the offender.

History of SPAC/Structured Sentencing and Case Law

Commission Members

Hon. Charlie Brown, Chairman
Chief District Court Judge

Frances Battle

N.C. Victim Assistance Network

Arthur Beeler, Jr.

Lieutenant Governor's Appointee

Hon. Danny Earl Britt, Jr.

State Senator

Sheriff James Clemmons, Jr.

N.C. Sheriffs' Association

Lisa Costner

N.C. Bar Association

Hon. Warren Daniel

State Senator

Louise Davis

N.C. Community Sentencing Association

Danielle Marquis Elder

N.C. Attorney General's Office

Judge Robert Ervin

N.C. Conference of Superior Court Judges

Hon. John Faircloth

State Representative

Christopher Fialko

N.C. Advocates for Justice

Willis Fowler

N.C. Post-Release Supervision & Parole Commission

Chief Tammy Hooper

N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police

Hon. Darren Jackson

State Representative

Judge H. Thomas Jarrell, Jr.

N.C. District Court Judges' Association

Susan Katzenelson

Private Citizen, Governor's Appointee

Hon. Maureen Krueger

N.C. Conference of District Attorneys

Hon. Tammy Lee

N.C. Association of County Commissioners

Hon. Raymond Matusko

N.C. Association of Clerks of Superior Court

Hon. Floyd McKissick, Jr.

State Senator

Dr. Harvey McMurray

Academic Member

Hon. Allen McNeill

State Representative

Luther Moore

N.C. Retail Merchants' Association

Judge Fred Morrison, Jr.

Justice Fellowship

Jim Toms

Commission Chairman's Appointee

Judge Reuben Young

N.C. Department of Public Safety

Judge Valerie Zachary

N.C. Court of Appeals

Commission Staff

Michelle Hall

Executive Director

John Madler

Associate Director for Policy, Staff Attorney

Ginny Hevener

Associate Director for Research

Tamara Flinchum

Senior Research & Policy Associate

Meghan Boyd Ward

Research & Policy Associate

Rebecca Dial

Research & Policy Associate

John King

Research & Policy Associate

Shelley Kirk

Administrative Secretary

Jennifer Wesoloski

Research & Policy Associate

Rebecca Whitaker

Research & Policy Associate

Commission Meetings - Agendas and Minutes

2018-2019 Commission Meetings

2018 Meeting Schedule: March 2, 2018 June 8, 2018 September 7, 2018 December 7, 2018   2019 Meeting Schedule: March 1, 2019 June 7, 2019 September 13, 2019 December 6, 2019