Criminal Justice

City Manager Ron Carlee Decides To "Ban The Box"

Mar 3, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee officially "banned the box" on Friday. Applicants for city jobs will now no longer see a question about prior convictions on the initial application. The exception will be for public safety jobs – like police officers or airport employees.

Applicants will be asked about criminal history much later in the process -- in some departments after several rounds of interviews.

Teens Learn About Judicial System Through Court Camp

Jul 31, 2013
Charles Keller

Summer is filled with day camps for kids. Church camp. Basketball camp. Dance camp. You get the idea. A camp that’s somewhat new to the summer scene: Court camp.


You may have assumed that a convicted felon who is serving time in a North Carolina prison would not be found hanging out at home or on a golf course on some weekends.   But each year, hundreds of state inmates - including some convicted murderers - are granted weekend leaves under a long-standing program designed to help minimum-security prisoners transition back into society.   The News & Observer in Raleigh published details of the program on Friday, and WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with reporter Craig Jarvis.


There is a glamorous view in the past of the black-suited, stealthy cat burglar but home invasions are far from glamorous. Would-be burglars case neighborhoods and individual homes for weaknesses and entry points. What makes these criminals tick and what drives them to break into a home, putting the homeowner and even themselves at risk? UNC Charlotte researcher, Dr. Joe Kuhns, wanted to get into the mind of the burglar so he sat down with hundreds of them to find out why they break into homes and businesses. He joins us to share his findings as we look through the eyes of a burglar when Charlotte Talks.

Scott*/Flickr

In recent years public sentiment toward the justice system, both at home and nationwide was quite skeptical and negative. In response, Justice Department officials began a series of reforms including Justice Reinvestment. Proponents say that reforms are working but challenges remain. We'll hear from officials on the front lines of the justice system, learn more about Justice Reinvestment, what reforms are working and what is left to be done to achieve smart justice, when Charlotte Talks.

Winston Salem man Darryl Hunt spent nearly two decades in prison for a murder he did not commit. In 1985 the 19-year-old black man was charged with assaulting, raping and stabbing to death Deborah Sykes, a young white newspaper reporter. After DNA results proved his innocence in 1994, it till took 10 years of legal appeals until his was finally exonerated in 2004. This case and others like it is part of the work of The Innocence Project. Their mission is to assist prisoners who can be proven innocent through DNA testing - and so far claim more than 300 success stories in the U.S., 18 of those people served time on death row. We'll talk about wrongful convictions, the work of The Innocence Project, life after exoneration, race and injustice in the courtroom and the impact of the repeal of the Racial Justice Act, when Charlotte Talks. (This show was pre-recorded earlier this month.)