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South Carolina General Prison Talk, Introductions and Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in South Carolina that do not fit into any other South Carolina subforum. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind in addition to prison.

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2018, 10:42 PM
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Default Sentencing reform

Another legislative session has begun and the rumors of early release, 85% to 65%, and all things in between continue.

The South Carolina House Sentencing Reform Committee has been meeting since late 2017 and there is a strong likelihood changes will be made this session. This is the same committee that made recommendations for the 2010 Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act.

That bill has had mixed results with crime and incarceration reduction. There are over 19,000 men and women incarcerated within the state prison system and many have to serve 85% of their sentences to qualify for release.

What will the current committee recommend to improve upon the 2010 bill?

Inquiring minds wait...
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:40 AM
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Default Bill H3235 Sentencing Reduction

Summary of H3235

"The bill provides that reductions to a sentence of a person convicted of a “no parole offense” must be deducted from his or her minimum sentence. Reductions are deducted from the maximum sentence to determine parole.

A person who has served at least 15 years for a conviction of a non-parole offense, may petition the court for modification of the sentence.

Only applies to an inmate who has completed a rehabilitation program, education program or has exhibited good behavior.

The bill also allows a person convicted of a non-parole offense to only serve a mandatory sentence of 65% as opposed to 85% under current law.

Allows for 6 days a month credit for good behavior. Currently law is 3 days per month.

The bill is retroactive and would immediately apply to persons currently imprisoned." - Source: Hearts for Inmates

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/query.ph...235&numrows=10
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:44 AM
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Default Bill H4670 State Work Program

Summary of H4670

"The proposed legislation would allow an eligible inmate who is committed to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to participate in the work program given the following:

The inmate has been convicted of a nonviolent crime; and
The inmate is physically able to participate in the state work program.

Per the proposed legislation, the eligible inmate would be “ordered by the court to participate and serve not less than three years and not more than five in an incarceration facility and requires an inmate to work an eight hour day for five days a week maintaining state and county roads and property, mow grass and pick up littler along state and county roads, and repair pot holes along state and county roads.” Source: Fox Carolina

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/query.ph...670&numrows=10
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:47 AM
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choclgs - As always, thank you for posting such relevant information on Carolina prison systems! You are truly an asset!
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:21 AM
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choclgs - As always, thank you for posting such relevant information on Carolina prison systems! You are truly an asset!
This is the first time in nearly a decade that action has been taken to make changes in the prison system in South Carolina. So many laws are outdated by 20-30 years.

There is a strong possibility that changes will be made for the better this legislative session.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:22 AM
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We can all hope and pray that reform takes place!
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:12 PM
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Default This bill is being "stalled"

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Originally Posted by choclgs View Post
Summary of H3235

"The bill provides that reductions to a sentence of a person convicted of a “no parole offense” must be deducted from his or her minimum sentence. Reductions are deducted from the maximum sentence to determine parole.

A person who has served at least 15 years for a conviction of a non-parole offense, may petition the court for modification of the sentence.

Only applies to an inmate who has completed a rehabilitation program, education program or has exhibited good behavior.

The bill also allows a person convicted of a non-parole offense to only serve a mandatory sentence of 65% as opposed to 85% under current law.

Allows for 6 days a month credit for good behavior. Currently law is 3 days per month.

The bill is retroactive and would immediately apply to persons currently imprisoned." - Source: Hearts for Inmates

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/query.ph...235&numrows=10
There is a strong possibility that sentencing reform will take place this year but the leadership of the state, law enforcement, prosecutors, and solicitors are stripping this bill down.

The legislation they are composing is not in favor of all offenders, mainly nonviolent.

Please contact your SC state representative and senator to gain their support for H3235!
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:26 PM
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On yesterday, a state representative confirmed that there will be a sentencing reform bill changing the current sentencing requirement from 85%.

There is the current H3235 bill but another will be filed within a week.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:25 PM
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Another bill has been introduced by several members of the Sentencing Oversight Committee.

This bill may reduce the overall population but doesn't support sentencing reduction for those who were sentenced prior to January 1, 2011.

The SC General Assembly may move this bill forward for a vote, as with so many other bills related to incarceration, the level of apathy and nonsupport from families of those who are incarcerated, this will lead to the success of this bill being passed.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:52 PM
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Default Sentencing Reduction and overhaul of the system

H5155

This bill is an intensive sentencing reform and overhaul of the current system in South Carolina.

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/billsear...=122&summary=B
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:41 PM
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Default Update on the sentencing reform bill H5155

H5155 Sentencing Reform bill has taken a turn. The House Judiciary Committee has recalled the bill and a 24-hour point of order has been put in place.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:59 PM
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H5155 Sentencing Reform bill has taken a turn. The House Judiciary Committee has recalled the bill and a 24-hour point of order has been put in place.


So does that mean no decision has been made yet?
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:29 PM
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So does that mean no decision has been made yet?
Getting a bill passed is a lengthy process.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:32 PM
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Default H5155 Sentencing Reform Bill Update

H5155 Sentencing Reform is scheduled to be debated in the SC House of Representatives on May 1st. The House voted to adjourned the debate twice this week.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:27 PM
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The debate on H5155 was adjourned for May 2, 2018 after two additional cosponsors were added to the bill.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:37 PM
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H5155 was sent back to the SC House Judiciary Committee.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:37 PM
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What exactly does it mean that it was sent back to the judiciary committee? Are they just trying to kill the bill before they close the session? I know that getting a bill passed takes time, are they just trying to buy time? I don’t know a whole lot about politics so I was just trying to see if this bill is going to pass/not pass anytime soon, What the next step is, and how many steps are after that.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:20 PM
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What exactly does it mean that it was sent back to the judiciary committee? Are they just trying to kill the bill before they close the session? I know that getting a bill passed takes time, are they just trying to buy time? I don’t know a whole lot about politics so I was just trying to see if this bill is going to pass/not pass anytime soon, What the next step is, and how many steps are after that.
The bill will remain in committee until the session begins again in January. This is not an unusual undertaking. The last two bills for sentencing reform had the same fate.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:01 AM
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Default Sentencing reform

Washington, DC – FAMM President Kevin Ring praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the FIRST STEP Act, H.R. 5682, sponsored by Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). The bill was approved by [voice vote or enter the recorded vote].

“We are grateful that so many members of Congress from both parties voted to reform our federal prisons,” said Ring. “More than 180,000 prisoners and their families would benefit from the bill’s modest but meaningful reforms. We applaud Reps. Collins and Jeffries for their hard work and commitment to this effort.

“This bill isn’t everything we wanted, but it is something – and for the tens of thousands of families we talk to every week, something is better than nothing. Especially when that something is a mom or dad who comes home a little sooner or a child who is close enough to visit more often,” Ring said.

The bill includes reforms such as increased good time credit, compassionate release reform, keeping federal prisoners within 500 driving miles of their loved ones, expanded use of home confinement, and additional funding for recidivism-reducing programming in prisons. These policies have the potential to positively impact 183,000 people in federal prison and their families.

Last Friday, May 18, Ring attended a prison reform summit at the White House. At the summit, President Donald Trump urged Congress to pass a criminal justice reform bill and said he would sign it. Last year, FAMM published a first-of-its-kind report on federal prisons, which included a handful of recommendations that were incorporated into the FIRST STEP Act.

Summary: H.R. 5682, FIRST STEP Act (115th Congress, 2018) Sponsors: Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
FAMM’s position on H.R. 5682: FAMM supports the FIRST STEP Act but also notes that there are parts of the bill that need improvement before final passage by Congress. FAMM of course supports sentencing reform, but we are also supportive of prison reform, and there are many reforms in the FIRST STEP Act that FAMM has advocated for years. We are grateful for the hard work of the bill sponsors, who have carefully listened to our feedback and incorporated some of our suggestions.
What the bill would do: The FIRST STEP Act would require the BOP to adopt a risk assessment tool, assess all federal prisoners for their risk of recidivism, and categorize them as minimum, low, medium, or high risk. Some federal prisoners would be able to earn time credits for completing rehabilitative programs, which minimum- and low-risk prisoners would be allowed to redeem for more time in a halfway house or home confinement at the end of a person’s sentence, so long as their warden does not object in writing. Medium- and high-risk prisoners would have to petition to redeem the time credits they earn, but would only redeem credits with approval of the warden and a determination that they are not likely to reoffend and not a public safety threat. Prisoners who cash in their time credits for time on home confinement or a halfway house would be sent back to prison for violating the conditions of their release.
The bill makes numerous other reforms to federal prisons, including the following:
Positive reforms:
1. Adjusts good time credit calculation so that prisoners receive 54 days of good time
credit per year, not 47 days, for following prison rules. This change to good credit time
would be retroactive;
2. Requires BOP to put lower-risk, lower-needs people in home confinement for the full
amount of time permitted under current law (10 percent of the person’s sentence or 6
months, whichever is less);
3. Requires the BOP to place prisoners within 500 driving miles, not air miles, of
home, if security classification, programming and medical needs, and bed space allow it;
4. Reforms the BOP’s compassionate release process for prisoners facing “extraordinary
and compelling” circumstances, including
- Allowing prisoners to appeal denials of compassionate release to federal courts after
all other BOP remedies have been exhausted or at least 30 days have passed since the
request was submitted;
- Requiring annual data reporting on BOP’s use of compassionate release;
- Creating an expedited timeline for BOP consideration of compassionate release
requests of terminally ill prisoners;
- Permitting family members, lawyers, and BOP staff to help prisoners file
compassionate release requests; Requiring better notice to BOP staff and prisoners of when compassionate release is available and how to ask for it;
5. Authorizes $50 million in funding per year for 5 years for rehabilitative programs in federal prisons;
6. Gives incentives to prisoners who cannot earn time credits for completing rehabilitative programs, including:
- Up to 510 phone minutes per month (which prisoners must pay for);
- Additional time for visits, determined by the warden;
- Addition time using the BOP’s email system (which prisoners must pay for);
- Transfer to a prison closer to the person’s home, if the warden approves;
- Increased commissary spending limits and product offerings;
- Consideration for transfer to preferred housing units;
7. Requires BOP to help people get government identification cards and birth certificates before they leave prison;
8. Reauthorizes an elderly prisoner early release pilot program from the Second Chance Act of 2007, allowing elderly and elderly terminally ill prisoners to be released from prison early if they are at least 60 years old, have served 2/3 of their sentences, and meet all of the other requirements;
9. Bans shackling of pregnant women in federal prisons and jails;
10. Expands Federal Prison Industries;
11. Requires BOP to expand programs quickly, putting them in place for all eligible
prisoners within three years of the bill’s passage. During this phase-in period, prisoners closest to release get priority for being placed in programs. After the phase-in period, medium- and higher-risk prisoners are given priority to be placed in programs, while jobs are prioritized for minimum- and low-risk prisoners.
Needs improvement:
1. May not reduce recidivism because it gives time credit incentives for completing
rehabilitative programs to the minimum and low-risk prisoners who are least likely to reoffend, not to the medium- and higher-risk prisoners who are more likely to reoffend and more in need of incentives to complete programs. This approach is not evidence- based. Minimum- and low-risk prisoners may earn more credits than medium- and high- risk prisoners (15 days per month of programming vs. 10 days per month of programming) and are the only prisoners likely to be able to “cash in” and actually enjoy earned time credits. It is unclear whether those with higher risk levels would ever be able to lower their risk scores or “cash in” the time credits they would earn. If time credits become an illusory incentive for those most likely to reoffend, the bill may not increase program participation and reduce recidivism – an outcome that could be blamed on prisoners rather than on the bill’s backwards incentive structure.
2. The bill’s time credit incentives are not real time off the person’s sentence. Time credits earned may be used only for more time in a halfway house or on home confinement. Even those prisoners who would be able to cash in their credits could be unable to have a place to go to spend them, because of lack of halfway houses and limited use of home confinement. There are currently not enough halfway houses; average halfway house stays are only for two to four months. Home confinement has been historically underutilized, which this bill attempts to remedy. Nonetheless, availability of home confinement will depend heavily on whether there are enough probation officers to meet demand. The most successful BOP rehabilitation program is the residential drug abuse program (RDAP) – and it works and has a 5,000-person waiting list because it gives a one-year sentence reduction to those who complete it. Congress should be following that model in doing prison reform and give people real time off their sentences, not a promise of more of something they already cannot get.
3. The bill excludes many people from earning and using time credits. Any person who will return to our communities from prison someday should get time credit incentives for doing the hard work of rehabilitation. The bill excludes many people from earning time credits, including those who committed the following offenses:
- Manufacturing or distributing drugs, with death or serious bodily injury resulting from the use of those drugs (21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A), (B), or (C))
- Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. § 924(e))
- Receipt or distribution of child pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(1), (2), or (3))
- Second or subsequent conviction for possession, distribution, or sale of child
pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(1) through (6))
- Assault with intent to commit murder (18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(1))
- Influencing, impeding, retaliating against a federal officer by injuring a family
member, except for a threat (18 U.S.C. § 115)
- Biological weapons (18 U.S.C., chapter 10)
- Chemical weapons (18 U.S.C., chapter 11B)
- Assassination, kidnaping, or assault of a congressional, cabinet, or Supreme Court
member (18 U.S.C. § 351)
- Gathering, transmitting, losing defense information (18 U.S.C. § 793)
- Gathering or delivering defense information to aid a foreign government (18
U.S.C. § 794)
- Explosives or dangerous articles (chapter 39, U.S. Code, except for § 836 offenses
involving transportation of fireworks into a state that prohibits their sale or use)
- Distribution of information relating to weapons of mass destruction (18 U.S.C. §
842(p))
- Use of fire or explosive (18 U.S.C. § 844(f)(3), (h), or (i))
- Computer fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1))
- Murder under 18 U.S.C., chapter 51, except for manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1112),
attempt to commit manslaughter (18 U.S.C. § 1113), misconduct or neglect of
ship officers (18 U.S.C. § 1115), protection against HIV (18 U.S.C. § 1122)
- Kidnaping (18 U.S.C., chapter 55)
- Human trafficking and slavery (18 U.S.C., chapter 77), except for sections 1592
through 1596
- Assault, kidnaping, or assassination of president or presidential staff (18 U.S.C. §
1751)
- Intentionally killing or attempting to kill an unborn child (18 U.S.C. §
1841(a)(2)(C))
- Terrorist attacks against railways or mass transportation systems (18 U.S.C. §
1992)
- Bank robbery resulting in death (18 U.S.C. § 2113(e)) - Robberies or burglaries involving drugs, which result in death (18 U.S.C. § 2118(c)(2))
- Carjacking that results in death (18 U.S.C. § 2119(3))
- Sabotage (18 U.S.C., chapter 105, except for § 2152)
- Sexual abuse (18 U.S.C., chapter 109A, except for those convicted under any
provision of § 2244 other than subsection (c))
- Sexual exploitation of children (18 U.S.C. § 2251)
- Selling or buying children (18 U.S.C. § 2251A)
- Producing child pornography for importation (18 U.S.C. § 2260)
- Transportation of explosive, biological, radioactive, chemical, or nuclear
materials (18 U.S.C. § 2283)
- Transportation of terrorists (18 U.S.C. § 2284)
- Destroying a vessel or port, if it involved substantial risk of death or serious
bodily injury (18 U.S.C. § 2291)
- Terrorism (18 U.S.C. chapter 113B)
- Torture (18 U.S.C. § 2340A)
- Treason (18 U.S.C. § 2381)
- Recruiting or using child soldiers (18 U.S.C. § 2442)
- Developing or producing nuclear material (42 U.S.C. § 2077(b))
- Atomic weapons offenses (42 U.S.C. § 2122)
- Atomic energy license violations (42 U.S.C. § 2131)
- Communication or receipt of restricted atomic data (42 U.S.C. § 2274, 2275)
- Sabotage of nuclear facilities or fuel (42 U.S.C. § 2284)
- Damaging or destroying a pipeline facility, if the conduct involved a substantial
risk of death or serious bodily injury (49 U.S.C. § 60123(b))
- Illegal reentry of certain removed aliens listed in 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b)(1) or (2)
(e.g., the person has a prior conviction for a felony, an aggravated felony, or 3 or
more misdemeanor drug or person crimes)
- Export violations (50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et seq.)
- International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. § 1705)
- Disclosing identities of undercover agents, informants, sources (50 U.S.C. §
3121)
- A conviction for
a. An offense listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F) (murder, manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with intent to commit rape, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact, kidnaping, aircraft piracy, robbery, carjacking, extortion, arson, firearm use, firearm possession during a drug offense or crime of violence, and attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these offenses) AND
b. The person was sentenced to a year or more in prison for this conviction, AND
c. The person has a prior state or federal conviction for murder, voluntary manslaughter, assault with intent to commit murder, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact, kidnaping, carjacking, arson, or terrorism, for which the person served a year or more in prison
- District of Columbia offenders housed in federal prisons - State offenders housed in federal prisons
- People serving life sentences
- Noncitizens facing deportation or removal from the U.S.

Last edited by rks1170; 05-28-2018 at 04:06 AM..
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:19 PM
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That has to do with BOP not SCDC.
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