Malloy honored by SC PPP
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (PPP) presented an honorary badge and certificate to SC Senator Gerald Malloy (District 29) on Friday, August 18 in appreciation of his efforts to reform criminal sentencing laws and break the logjam of minor crime cases clogging the court system and state prisons.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Malloy sponsored the 2010 Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act, which has significantly reduced the state’s prison population and saved the state nearly $30.5 million in its first five years. It has been hailed by national criminal justice reform groups as a model for other states. Malloy serves as chair of the Sentencing Reform Act Oversight Committee, which has monitored implementation of the legislation.
Before the presentation, Malloy spoke about some of the problems that inspired the legislation. He said the Senate decided in 2009 to focus on sentencing reform by diverting lower level drug offenders and non-violent offenders away from incarceration so those prison beds can be used to house those found guilty of serious and/or violent crimes.
“The war on drugs just didn’t work. And we had many people that were incarcerated in the Department of Corrections for (lower level crimes.) The third most incarcerated offense in South Carolina during that time was driving under suspension, non DUI-related…and if you had a DUS second offense, there was mandatory jail time,” said Malloy. “How are you going to incarcerate those folks and take up those bed spaces? It bottlenecks the system.”
Sen. Malloy said that sentencing reform is a valuable step toward streamlining the judicial and correctional system, and he noted that the Senate plans to address several “low-hanging fruit” related matters in the near future, but there are currently no plans to tackle the hot topic of drug decriminalization.
“The larger issue of decriminalization of marijuana that’s going around the country, I think would require another debate that would stand alone,” said Malloy.
SC PPP director Jerry B. Adger thanked Malloy for his commitment to easing the criminal justice system gridlock, and asked that the senator do what he could in the future to ensure that PPP receives adequate funding to retain good employees and keep fulfilling their expanded responsibilities.
“The agency stands ready to deal with the offenders that are not going to prison, that are going to be in the community. We’ve created a new Division of Rehabilitative Services within PPP, and the whole focus is on integration, education, and employment,” said Adger. “We are deeply honored to present this badge and plaque in appreciation of Sen. Malloy’s efforts to reform the state prison and community supervision programs, which have impacted thousands of lives and saved the state’s taxpayers millions of dollars.”
SC PPP supervises more than 52,000 jurisdictional offenders on probation, parole and other forms of community supervision in South Carolina.