Nonviolent offenders, or as their usually known, poor bastards that got pinched with weed, have been costing American taxpayers millions during the lengthy and unsuccessful war on drugs. It seems that South Carolina’s lawmakers are in the process of changing this losing battle, thereby saving their constituents millions in tax dollars. Find out more after the jump.
Marijuana offenders aren’t the only reason South Carolina is spending more and more on prisons, as other drugs and property crimes can also be attributed to the problem. And there is certainly a problem. Via
Prison admissions have grown 26 percent in a decade with a large chunk coming not from murderers, rapists and other violent criminals but lower-level offenders. Forty-nine percent of the state’s inmates are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, mostly drug and property crimes. Forty-four percent of new inmates have sentences of less than 18 months. A state already in dire financial shape could be faced with building as many as two new prisons in five years at a cost of $317 million, plus another $141 million a year in operating costs.
Obviously, you will not escape a cannabis news post, without a little bit of politricks. Everyone can nod their heads in agreement when I tell you the bill is supported by Democrats. ‘”Basically, the system got out of control,’ said Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Hartsville. ‘We cannot build our way out of this process. It’s too cost prohibitive.”‘ What should really shock you is the bipartisan agreement. Democrats and Republicans getting along?
Proposed changes are closely based on a nearly yearlong study by the Sentencing Reform Commission, a bipartisan group created by the Legislature. The central idea that came out of the study was that the state ought to release more low-level offenders to make room for the most violent criminals. It had heavy support from Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature.
Hot Diggity Dog. It’s nice to know Republicans and Democrats alike can agree that nonviolent criminals need more relaxed jail terms, or community service rather than incarceration. Now if they could only be this conciliatory on health care, I might be able go to a doctor again…don’t hold your breath.
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