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Old 07-10-2019, 08:09 AM
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Default SC prisons changing the way inmates are classified and housed

SC prisons changing the way inmates are classified and housed

COLUMBIA —"South Carolina prison officials are rolling out a sweeping policy change that will give the state more discretion in deciding where to locate inmates in the state’s 21 correctional institutions.

The shift is being made, agency officials say, to encourage good behavior and to better ensure the safety of thousands of prisoners serving time behind bars.

The changes are occurring as state lawmakers continue to review the state’s prison system after a violent uprising at a prison in Lee County left seven inmates dead last year. The policy shift, Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said, is likely to be a topic of discussion at a House oversight committee this week.

Under the current system, prison officials classify each inmate based largely on the severity of their crime and the length of their sentence. That classification then determines which prison an inmate will be housed in.

The new rules, however, weigh other things like a prisoner’s age, medical situation, criminal history and gang affiliations when deciding whether to place them in a maximum-security setting. It also takes into account the work and education programs inmates participate in."

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