Ninth Circuit Solicitor says backlog in bonds are adding to an uptick in violent crime

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Seven people are recovering on Thursday after being shot in two separate shootings in Downtown Charleston.

One person was found in West Ashley, another victim was brought to the Medical University of South Carolina with gunshot wounds. Earlier Wednesday, five people were shot at public housing off Hanover Street.

Chief Luther Reynolds says the events add to a much bigger issue in the Lowcountry: keeping those who committed violent crimes in jail.

While no suspects have been named for either crime, the Charleston Police Department says they know who is behind them. According to Chief Luther Reynolds, “it’s a small number of repeat violent armed criminal offenders that are committing these crimes.” 

While the agency arrests those responsible, Chief Reynolds says they are stuck in a cycle, as soon after an arrest is made the individuals are out and continuing to commit crimes. He says now, “somebody needs to step up and keep these people in jail.”

The ninth circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson says the Chief is right. She says on top of having an issue with repeat offenders she says there is also an issue of repeat offenders continuing to violate bonds and continuing to be let to bond.

Solicitor Wilson says now, the courts are backlogged in two areas of bond, both estreatment where the bondsman’s money can be taken for the amount of bond if an individual fails to appear and a bond revocation where those out on bond go back into jail for violations.  

While some bondsmen are doing what they should, the solicitor says it’s the others that need to be removed.

We have a complete situation where the fox is guarding the henhouse. Bondsmen are making good money on people in GPS monitoring and then not letting the court and my office know where there is a violation as they are required to do. 

Scarlett Wilson, Ninth Circuit Solicitor 

Many of the issues that both law enforcement and those in the judicial system are seeing, according to the solicitor, can be solved as soon as courts want to have hearings.  

Officials say the investigations into the two separate shooting incidents on Wednesday night remain ongoing.

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