120-70.94. Purpose and powers of Committee.

(a) The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety shall examine, on a continuing basis, the correctional, law enforcement, and juvenile justice systems in North Carolina, in order to make ongoing recommendations to the General Assembly on ways to improve those systems and to assist those systems in realizing their objectives of protecting the public and of punishing and rehabilitating offenders. In this examination, the Committee shall:

(1) Study the budget, programs, and policies of the Department of Public Safety to determine ways in which the General Assembly may improve the effectiveness of the Department.

(2) Examine the effectiveness of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety in implementing the public policy stated in G.S. 148-26 of providing work assignments and employment for inmates as a means of reducing the cost of maintaining the inmate population while enabling inmates to acquire or retain skills and work habits needed to secure honest employment after their release.

(2a) Examine the effectiveness of the Department of Public Safety in implementing the duties and responsibilities charged to the Department in G.S. 143B-601(1) through (9) and the overall effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement in the State.

(2b) Examine the effectiveness of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety in implementing the duties and responsibilities charged to the Division in Part 3 of Article 13 of Chapter 143B of the General Statutes and the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the juvenile justice system in the State.

(3) Recodified as subdivision (a)(13) by Session Laws 2011-291, s. 1.4(c), effective June 24, 2011.

(3a) Study and evaluate the funding sources and needs of domestic violence programs providing services to domestic violence victims and programs providing treatment to domestic violence abusers.

(4) Study legal services funding for domestic violence victims and explore additional sources of funding.

(5) Explore sources of additional funding for all domestic violence programs, including visitation centers.

(6) Examine current programs and explore new programs to provide effective services to domestic violence victims and treatment to domestic violence abusers.

(7) Examine law enforcement and judicial responses to domestic violence.

(8) Review data collected on domestic violence cases pursuant to G.S. 15A-1382.1.

(9) Study the effectiveness of the Crime Victims Rights Act as it relates to domestic violence.

(10) Study the needs of juveniles. This study may include, but is not limited to:

a. Determining the adequacy and appropriateness of services:

1. To children and youth receiving child welfare services;

2. To children and youth in the juvenile court system;

3. Provided by the Division of Social Services of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety;

4. To children and youth served by the Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services system.

b. Developing methods for identifying and providing services to children and youth not receiving but in need of child welfare services, children and youth at risk of entering the juvenile court system, and children and youth exposed to domestic violence situations.

c. Identifying obstacles to ensuring that children who are in secure or nonsecure custody are placed in safe and permanent homes within a reasonable period of time and recommending strategies for overcoming those obstacles. The Commission shall consider what, if anything, can be done to expedite the adjudication and appeal of abuse and neglect charges against parents so that decisions may be made about the safe and permanent placement of their children as quickly as possible.

(11) Evaluate problems associated with juveniles who are beyond the disciplinary control of their parents, including juveniles who are runaways, and develop solutions for addressing the problems of those juveniles.

(12) Identify strategies for the development and funding of a comprehensive statewide database relating to children and youth to facilitate State agency planning for delivery of services to children and youth.

(13) Study any other matter that the Committee considers necessary.

(b) The Committee may make interim reports to the General Assembly on matters for which it may report to a regular session of the General Assembly. A report to the General Assembly may contain any legislation needed to implement a recommendation of the Committee. (1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 49(a); 1997-443, s. 21.4(a); 2001-138, s. 1; 2011-145, s. 19.1(g), (h), (l), (ii); 2011-291, s. 1.4(c); 2012-194, s. 23; 2017-186, s. 2(iiiii).)