New proposed legislation to reduce prison time served from 85 percent to 65 percent
Proposed legislation at the state house could change how prison sentences are served in South Carolina. The plan would drop the time served from 85 percent to 65 percent of the sentence. Upstate senator Karl B. Allen pre-filed the legislation Wednesday.
He shares, "the idea is that you will give credit to a human being, that is inside of the prison system for good behavior and will reduce the amount of time that they will serve. Where we're going now in the nation and in South Carolina and with this legislation is not getting tough on crime but getting smart on crime. "
Inmates would have to meet certain criteria to qualify for the reduction, such as good behavior, work, and education.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews disagrees with this kind of thinking and legislation and says, "for people to say that we need to be smarter on crime, yet do nothing to make our community safer, that's not being smart on crime, that's being idiotic on crime. Everybody turns to the government to solve the problems. we're very poor problem solvers. it's the breakdown of the family and that is creating havoc in our nation."
Some people we spoke with in Columbia, were split on whether the plan might be a good thing. Norman Summers says, "I like it, because some people don't deserve the sentences that are handed down to them". While Anna Rosenquist thinks, I think it should only be for non-violent offenders. i think for violent offenders, they for themselves in there for a very good reason."
State Senator Allen says, "the fact that we're seeing riots throughout the department under the current administration, something needs to be done and this is that something that increases the moral of an inmate, they see light at the end of the tunnel."
Lawmakers could take up the proposal as soon as next month when the legislative session begins.