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
Judge H. Thomas Jarrell, Jr. N.C. District Court Judges' Association
Susan Katzenelson Private Citizen, Governor's Appointee
Chief Henry King, Jr. N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police
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
Hon. William Richardson State Representative
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

N.C. Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission
PO Box 2448
Raleigh, NC 27602-2448
Phone: (919) 890-1470
Fax: (919) 890-1933

Michelle Hall Executive Director
John Madler Associate Director for Policy, Staff Attorney
Ginny Hevener Associate Director for Research
Tamara Flinchum Senior Research & Policy Associate
Rebecca Dial Research & Policy Associate
John King Research & Policy Associate
Meghan Boyd Ward Research & Policy Associate
Rebecca Whitaker Research & Policy Associate
Shelley Kirk Administrative Secretary

Commission Meetings - Agendas and Minutes