Currently, the United States has the highest prison population than any other country. South Carolina currently has twenty four prisons through out the state. According to SCDC Profile as of June 30, 2014 there were over 20,000 inmates and over 10.000 of those inmates are sentenced under the Truth In sentencing Law.
Twenty years later there has not been any retroactive relief given to those who were sentenced and under the Truth In Sentence Law or any given to those who were sentenced under the determinate or indeterminate laws.
There are inmates who has served more than twenty years and are still being denied parole for the same reason each time a parole hearing is given. South Carolina Parole Board requires an inmate to have a minimum of four votes be considered for release. In most instances inmates are being denied for "nature of offense" for crimes that were committed greater than twenty years ago .
South Carolina Department of Corrections requires that all inmates work within the institutions. Those inmates who work within these institutions are not receiving pay and are not given any work credits that will help the inmate earn time reduction. The Institutions are receiving free labor from the inmates without giving them any incentives for the work they are doing.
In conclusion, the solutions that we pose are to reduce the mandatory minimum from 85% to 65 % retroactive including those with violent offensives, offering parole eligibility for all offenders and those who are sentenced under the "old laws" consider previous votes towards current eligibility year and reestablishing both good behavior and work credits for all. Creating such solutions will allow the inmates the opportunity to work towards their freedom, independence and coming back into society as productive citizens. All institutions where inmates are required to work should offer trades or job training that will help the inmates earn pay while incarcerated or skills that will help them become employable after being released.
There are men and women who daily strive towards making better choices than the one that lead to prison. Lets help them by establishing options that will help them come back into society as productive citizens.