Charleston, SC (WCBD) – Earlier today, local leaders joined Scarlett Wilson, Ninth Circuit Solicitor, in announcing a plan to fight dangerous criminals who repeatedly prey on our community.
Solicitor Wilson says that the Berkeley County Detention Center is bursting at the seams with low level offenders. However, she says, we have a serious problem with dangerous criminals who get out on bond and continue to repeat violent crimes. According to data from the jails, from 2016 to 2018, in Berkeley County, 234 of the 545 violent crime defendants were re-arrested for another violent crime while out on bond. From 2016 to 2018, in Charleston County, 279 of the 872 violent crime defendants were re-arrested for a violent crime while out on bond.
Data analyzed by the Solicitors office shows that more than half of the dangerous criminals that are re-arrested, are re-arrested more than once. Senator Sandy Senn, SC State Senate, District 41, proposed a bill that will keep dangerous repeat criminals from constantly being out on bond, getting away with bond violations & will reform the bond system- a system that she says is too liement on dangerous repeat offenders.
Senator Senn says, “What I learned in looking at the statutes and I couldn’t believe it, but you can get a bond for as low as $25. Regardless of the amount that your bond is set at, you can get a bond for $25 and then it can be financed.”
Solicitor Wilson says that Berkeley County Detention Center is bursting at the seams with low level offenders. She introduced a “Four Point Plan” to hold repeat offenders accountable and to resolve their cases more expeditiously. The plan will focus on getting low level offenders rehabilitated and keeping repeat dangerous criminals behind bars.
Point 1: Increase options for low level and first-time offenders:
-remove obstacles to the expungement process and to diversion programs like pre-trial and drug intervention and mental health courts
Point 2: Expand the use of “PR” bonds for low-level and first time, non-violent offenders
Point 3: Begin legislative process for law enforcement and solicitor’s proposed legislation.
Point 4: Enforce bond conditions
-continue to aggressively pursue revocations under current law
– increase the pressure of bond estreatments for offenders’ “bad behavior”
– increase solicitor and law enforcement presence at initial bond settings
-support Senator Senn’s legislative proposals for minimum bond requirements
The Solicitor’s Office says that this is just the beginning of a conversation on combating dangerous repeat offenders, but law enforcement, legislators, local mayors & representatives are dedicated in standing together in the fight that they say will save lives.