Iredell County Clerk of Superior Court Jim Mixson has been named to the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission. The commission is an independent body that serves the North Carolina General Assembly in an advisory capacity. It is comprised of 28 representatives from the three branches of government, from all areas of the criminal justice system, and from the public. It was originally created in 1990 in response to a need to revise the state’s sentencing laws and was subsequently mandated with the ongoing duties of making policy recommendations, tracking legislation, and monitoring sentencing practices and correctional resources, according to a news release.
Mixson said he is excited about the appointment and the opportunity serve.
“I am honored to be appointed to the commission,” Mixson said. “I am very aware of the work this commission has performed over the past 30 years, especially in the development of the Justice Reinvestment Act.” It was created by the General Assembly to make recommendations for the modification of sentencing laws and policies and for the addition, deletion, or expansion of sentencing options as necessary to achieve policy goals, a release states, specifically to:
- classify criminal offenses into felony and misdemeanor categories on the basis of their severity;
- recommend structures for use by a sentencing court in determining the most appropriate sentence to be imposed in a criminal case;
- develop a correctional population simulation model;recommend a comprehensive community corrections strategy and organizational structure for the state;
- and study and make additional policy recommendations.
Prior work led to the passage of the Structured Sentencing Act which became effective in 1994. That law established truth in sentencing and prescribed sentencing options for judges based on the severity of the crime and the prior record of the offender. From 2009-2011, the Commission focused on the development of the Justice Reinvestment Act, bringing together the key stakeholders from the legislature and the criminal justice system to reshape portions of North Carolina’s approach to sentencing and probation supervision.
Mixson was sworn in as Iredell County’s Clerk of Superior Court on Dec. 3, 2012. He is a 1988 honor graduate of Mitchell Community College where he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a 1990 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. Mixson served as a North Carolina Probation/Parole Officer for more than 17 years and specialized in sex offender control for more than six years. In addition to his normal duties, Mixson was heavily involved in the development of the North Carolina Community Corrections current case planning model in addition to conducting training in case planning, motivational interviewing and the Justice Re-investment Act, the release states. Prior to his service as a probation officer, Mixson held several management positions with Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated.
Mixson is a member and former chairman of the Iredell County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, a member of the Board of Directors for Iredell Crime Stoppers, member of the Iredell Domestic Violence Task Force, current president of the Statesville Rotary Club and Scoutmaster of Troop 609 of Statesville. Mixson also serves in several roles within the Conference of North Carolina Clerks of Superior Court. Mixson is a member of the conference’s Legislative Committee, Technology Committee and Chairman of the Training Committee. In addition, Mixson was recently appointed to the Administrative Office of the Court’s Rules of Record Keeping Committee.
As the Clerk of Superior Court, Mixson is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions of the Superior and District Courts. In addition, as the Clerk of Superior Court, Mixson also has numerous judicial functions: he is the Judge of Probate and is responsible for the probate of wills and the administration of estates of decedents, minors and incompetents. As the Ex-Officio Judge of Probate, Mixson also hears a variety of special proceedings such as incompetency determinations, appointment of guardians, foreclosures and partitions of land. Mixson has completed specialized training in Incompetency Determinations and has completed the Judicial District Executive Seminar program through the N.C. Judicial College at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government.