A new report says South Carolina's prison population fell almost 3 percent in one year, due to sentencing reform. A 2010 law strengthened penalties for violent crimes and offers alternative sentences for nonviolent offenders, which make up 34 percent of the state's prisoners.
In 2002, they equated to more than 50% of the prison population, according to the state Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee
Lawmakers are debating over how to spend the $5 million dollars in taxpayer savings with some wanting part to go to the Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole Services. The number of people on probation has grown by 8 percent since 2010. Others say the agency should be merged with the state Department of Corrections.