Pitt County officials want to send a message to probation violators

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – 9 On Your Side is keeping track of how local prosecutors are working to keep the streets clean.

Probation violators from across Pitt County meet every Tuesday at one of the only courtrooms in the area set aside to handle their cases. The cases normally take months to a year to be presented in court and now Pitt County local district attorneys are working to expedite the process.

It’s a strategy the District Attorney’s office started to try to get people to take probation seriously.

After a year of implementation, District Attorney Kimberly Robb said it’s working, “The probation caseload has diminished dramatically.”

That reduction is attributed to a strategic plan put in place by Robb’s office. Every Tuesday, superior court room two is opened and unlocked, just for probation cases.

“They have to answer to the same judge every week,” Robb said, adding that the concept is to get people to realize how serious probation is. She wants people to know if they break the rules in Pitt County, there are consequences.

“Anytime that you can make probationers accountable by making them follow the rules of their probation officers, and they know there is a consequence if they don’t do that. That’s the biggest difference,” Robb said.

The District Attorney’s office couldn’t keep this court going by itself. It relies on help from a number of law enforcement agencies including the Greenville Police Department.

“We always see our best work when we work together collaboratively,” said Paul Sauls of the Greenville Police Department. He’s the court liaison for the Greenville Police Department. He makes sure the officers are in court when their cases are on the docket.

With the new process, officers have to be in court more than usual.

Sauls says the constant communication with the DA’s office is worth it to make the area a better place to live.

“The community feels safer and I think it’ll make the offenders think twice about what they’re doing, especially repeat offenders,” said Sauls.

Robb says she knows the process is making a difference. She says people on probation know, if they violate their terms or commit another crime, their probation will be revoked.

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