New Hanover county, district 5, court programs, Family Court Program Services
Sentencing Services, formerly known as Community Penalties, is located in New Hanover and Pender Counties. The 5th Judicial District Program is state operated under the Administrative Office of the Courts. The local program began in New Hanover County in 1986 and expanded full services to Pender County in 1995.
Sentencing Services has undergone tremendous positive changes in the past year due to new legislation, which took effect January 1, 2000. Under this new legislation each program must establish a Local Comprehensive Sentencing Program Plan to be developed by local court personnel and community leaders.
The Local Program Plan will outline how the program will operate and who will be served. Each Plan is unique to the Judicial District it serves and must be approved by the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge and the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The focus of Sentencing Services, under the new legislation, is to serve court personnel by offering background information and sentencing options for felony offenders.