South Carolina Sentencing Reforms Saved Taxpayers $5.2 Million

Post Date: December 9, 2013

SC CapitolCOLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s prison population fell 2.8 percent in 2013 from the previous year, saving taxpayers $5.2 million, according to a new report.

The savings are the result of sentencing reform, a 2010 law that strengthened penalties for violent crimes while offering alternative sentences for nonviolent offenses. Nonviolent inmates – who made up more than half of all S.C. prison inmates in 2002 – now account for 34 percent of the state’s prison population, according to a report from the state Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee.

Lawmakers are happy the state is saving money. But they are arguing over how to spend those savings. Read more