U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Economics and Crime: The Effects of the Economy on North Carolina's Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Systemstats Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2011 Pages: 1-12
Date Published
January 2011
12 pages
Results from the Criminal Justice Analysis Center of the Governor's Crime Commission survey assess how the recent economic down turn has affected North Carolina's law enforcement and criminal justice systems.
Results of the survey indicate that the enduring effects of the economic downturn will impact law enforcement agencies statewide. The survey shows sheriffs' offices and police departments are experiencing the effects of the recession through both crimes committed and budgetary restraints. The constant theme stated by the agencies surveyed remains how to do more with less as these agencies grapple with maintaining a level of service to the public with a concurrent decreased level of funding. The survey questions related to agency funding, personnel and crime in their jurisdiction. Questions in part 1 inquired about whether the department's funding allotment allowed them to achieve their intended missions and goals. Other questions targeted the presence and degree of personnel and budget cuts and inquired about methods used, such as hiring freezes or the reduction of overtime, observed changes in crime rates, safety in the area, and changes in the jail populations. The second part of the survey consisted of questions concerning each department's budget, personnel, any noted or anticipated effects of the current economic downturn, any innovative policing strategies that they have or would implement to compensate for an anticipated reduction in funding, and any structural changes within the department that would be considered if funding is reduced. Other questions inquired about effects that could be attributed to a struggling economy such as changes in the court room, certain types of crime, and how their agency has most been impacted. Data was collected from a two-part survey administered by phone to 20 North Carolina police departments and 20 North Carolina sheriffs' offices. Figures and references