Current Status Bill Number:
3526Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970225Primary Sponsor: FlemingAll Sponsors: Fleming, Barfield, Koon, Barrett, Altman, Chellis, Allison, Rodgers, Simrill, Young, Seithel, McKay, Sandifer, Maddox, Woodrum, Hinson, Knotts, Cotty, Cooper, Whatley, Witherspoon, Stuart, Kelley, Limbaugh, R. Smith, Cromer, Robinson, Rice, Law, Hawkins, Walker, Sharpe, D. Smith, Harrell, Harrison, Webb, Phillips, McMaster, Tripp, Riser, Klauber, Quinn, Meacham, Stille, Bauer, Haskins, Battle and DavenportDrafted Document Number: dka\4101cm.97Residing Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Corrections and Penology Committee 03 SCPDate of Last Amendment: 19970514Subject: Medically-abled inmates, chain gangs, to work highways and state property; Prisons and Prisoners
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19970520 Introduced, read first time, 03 SCP referred to Committee House 19970515 Read third time, sent to Senate House 19970514 Amended, read second time House 19970507 Request for debate withdrawn by Representative F. Smith Simrill Campsen House 19970430 Request for debate by Representative Simrill F. Smith Campsen Scott Fleming Mack J. Brown Cato Davenport Easterday Clyburn Stuart Klauber Moody- Lawrence Bailey Woodrum House 19970424 Committee report: Favorable with 25 HJ amendment House 19970225 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 14, 1997
Introduced by Reps. Fleming, Barfield, Koon, Barrett, Altman, Chellis, Allison, Rodgers, Simrill, Young, Seithel, McKay, Sandifer, Maddox, Woodrum, Hinson, Knotts, Cotty, Cooper, Whatley, Witherspoon, Stuart, Kelley, Limbaugh, R. Smith, Cromer, Robinson, Rice, Law, Hawkins, Walker, Sharpe, D. Smith, Harrell, Harrison, Webb, Phillips, McMaster, Tripp, Riser, Klauber, Quinn, Meacham, Stille, Bauer, Haskins, Battle and Davenport
S. Printed 5/14/97--H.
Read the first time February 25, 1997.
South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC):
Considerable changes in SCDC operations will be necessary if the provisions of this bill are intended to replace the current inmate work program in SCDC with chain gang activities. Currently inmates are assigned duties other than property maintenance. Data to determine the number of inmates who would participate and the number solitary confinement buildings needed cannot be determined at this time.
In a survey of eleven counties four counties estimated costs ranging from $268,000 to $800,000 for a total of $1,904,500. One county provided that the cost to their county would be significant but could not estimate the amount.
Section 4-9-55 provides that laws having a fiscal impact of more than ten cents per capita requires approval by two-thirds of the members voting in each house of the General Assembly.
The S.C. Department of Corrections states that leg irons for inmates are estimated to cost $25.92 each. The cost for construction of various administrative segregation units completed for SCDC during the past five years have ranged from $107 to $150 per square foot.
Michael L. Shealy
Office of State Budget
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 24-3-145 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT MEDICALLY-ABLED INMATES SENTENCED TO A DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FACILITY MUST BE ASSIGNED TO A CHAIN GANG TO MAINTAIN STATE PROPERTY AND TO PROVIDE THAT MEDICALLY-ABLED INMATES WHO REFUSE TO BE ASSIGNED TO WORK ON A CHAIN GANG MUST BE PLACED IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 57-17-620, RELATING TO A COUNTY'S USE OF CHAIN GANGS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY MUST USE CHAIN GANGS TO WORK HIGHWAYS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT MEDICALLY-ABLED INMATES WHO REFUSE TO WORK ON A CHAIN GANG MUST BE PLACED IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 24-13-70. The Director of the Department of Corrections and a person charged with the operation of a detention facility:
(1) shall require convicted prisoners in an institution of the State Department of Corrections or a county jail to engage in a work program unless considered a security risk or physically or mentally incapacitated;
(2) shall require that no cable television is provided to inmates, that inmates are encouraged to view educational programs, and that programs of a violent nature are not allowed; and
(3) may assign inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses, or eligible for custody in minimum security institutions, to work on chain gangs, with or without shackles."
SECTION 2. Section 24-3-40 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 54, Part II, Act 7 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"Section 24-3-40. (A) Unless otherwise provided by law, the employer of a prisoner authorized to work at paid employment in the community under Sections 24-3-20 to 24-3-50 or in a prison industry program provided under Article 3 of this chapter shall pay the prisoner's wages directly to the Department of Corrections. The Director of the Department of Corrections shall withhold five percent of the gross wages and promptly place these funds on deposit with the State Treasurer for credit to a special account to support victim assistance programs established pursuant to the "Victims of Crime Act of 1984, Public Law 98-473, Title II, Chapter XIV, Section 1404". The director may withhold from the wages costs incident to the prisoner's confinement as the Department of Corrections considers appropriate and reasonable. These withholdings must be deposited to the maintenance account of the Department of Corrections. The balance of the wages, in the discretion of the director and in proportions determined by the director, may be disbursed to the prisoner, the prisoner's dependents, and the victim of the crime or deposited to the credit of the prisoner.
The director of the Department of Corrections shall deduct those amounts, if any, required by law for federal and state tax withholdings and then shall distribute the balance as follows:
(1) If restitution to a particular victim or victims has been order by the court, then thirty-five percent must be used to fulfill the restitution obligation. If a restitution payment schedule has been ordered by the court pursuant to Section 17-25-322, the thirty-five percent must be applied to the scheduled payments. If restitution to a particular victim or victims has been ordered but a payment schedule has not been specified by the court, the director shall impose a payment schedule of equal monthly payments and use thirty-five percent to meet the payment schedule so imposed.
(2) If restitution to a particular victim or victims has not been ordered by the court, or if court ordered restitution to a particular victim or victims has been satisfied, then the thirty-five percent referred to in subsection (1) above must be placed on deposit with the State Treasurer for credit to a special account to support victim assistance programs established pursuant to the "Victims of Crime Act of 1984", Public Law 98-473, Title II, Chapter XIV, Section 1404.
(3) In addition to the restitution payments of subsections (1) and (2) above, five percent must be deposited with the State Treasurer for credit to a special account to support victim assistance programs established pursuant to the "Victims of Crime Act of 1984", Public Law 98-473, Title II, Chapter XIV, Section 1404.
(4) Twenty percent must be used to pay the prisoner's child support obligations pursuant to law, court order, or agreement of the prisoner. These child support monies must be disbursed to the appropriate clerks of court for application toward payment of child support obligations. If there are no child support obligations, then one-half of the twenty percent referred to in this subsection must be used by the Department of Corrections to defray the cost of the prisoner's room and board. This is in addition to the twenty percent used for the same purpose in subsection (5) below. Furthermore, if there are no child support obligations, then the other half of the twenty percent referred to in this subsection must be held in an escrow account for the benefit of the prisoner. This is in addition to the ten percent used for the same purpose in subsection (7) below.
(5) Twenty percent must be used by the Department of Corrections to defray the cost of the prisoner's room and board.
(6) Ten percent must be available to the inmate during his incarceration for the purchase of incidentals.
(7) Ten percent must be held in an escrow account for the benefit of the prisoner.
(B) The Department of Corrections shall return a prisoner's wages held in escrow pursuant to (A)(4) and (A)(7) of this section as follows:
(1) A prisoner released without community supervision must be given escrowed wages upon his release.
(2) A prisoner serving life in prison shall have his escrowed wages included in his estate upon death.
(3) A prisoner released to community supervision shall receive two hundred dollars or the escrow balance, whichever is less, upon his release. Any remaining balance must be dispersed to the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services. The prisoner's supervising agent shall apply this balance toward payment of the prisoner's housing and basic needs and disperse any balance to the prisoner at the end of the supervision period."
SECTION 3. Section 24-13-80 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 44, Part II, Act 7 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"Section 24-13-80. (A) As used in this section:
(1) 'Detention facility' means a municipal or county jail or state correctional facility used for the detention of persons charged with or convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, municipal offense, or violation of a court order.
(2) 'Inmate' means a person who is detained in a detention facility by reason of being charged with or convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor, a municipal offense, or violation of a court order.
(3) 'Medical treatment' means each visit initiated by the inmate to an institutional physician, physician's extender including a physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner, dentist, optometrist, or psychiatrist for examination or treatment.
(4) 'Administrator' means the county administrator, city administrator, or the chief administrative officer of a county or municipality.
(5) 'Director' means the agency head of the Department of Corrections.
(B) The administrator or director, whichever is appropriate, may establish, by rules, criteria for a reasonable deduction from money credited to the account of an inmate to:
(1) repay the costs of:
(a) public property wilfully damaged or destroyed by the inmate during his incarceration;
(b) medical treatment for injuries inflicted by the inmate upon himself or others;
(c) searching for and apprehending the inmate when he escapes or attempts to escape. The costs must be limited to those extraordinary costs incurred as a consequence of the escape; or
(d) quelling a riot or other disturbance in which the inmate is unlawfully involved;
(2) defray the costs paid by a municipality or county for elective medical treatment for an inmate, which has been requested by him, if the deduction does not exceed five dollars for each occurrence of treatment received by the inmate at the inmate's request. If the balance in an inmate's account is five dollars or less, the fee must not be charged. This item does not apply to medical costs incurred as a result of injuries sustained by an inmate or other medically necessary treatment for which that inmate is determined not to be responsible.
(C) All sums collected for medical treatment must be reimbursed to the inmate if the inmate is acquitted or otherwise exonerated of all charges for which the inmate was being held.
(D) The detention facility may initiate an action for collection of recovery of medical costs incurred pursuant to this section against an inmate upon his release or his estate if the inmate was executed or died while in the custody of the detention facility.
(6) 'Assets' means property, tangible or intangible, real or personal, belonging to or due an inmate or a former inmate, including income or payments to the inmate from the Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation Commission, Veterans' Administration, pension benefits, previously earned salary or wages, bonuses, annuities, retirement benefits, or from another source including the following:
(a) monies or other tangible assets received by the inmate as a result of a settlement of a claim against the State, a state agency, or a claim against an employee or independent contractor arising from and in the scope of the employee's or independent contractor's official duties to the State or a state agency;
(b) a money judgment received by the inmate from the State as a result of a civil action in which the State, a state agency, or a state employee, or independent contractor where the judgment arose from a claim arising from the conduct of official duties on behalf of the State by the employee, a subcontractor, or for a state agency;
(c) a current stream of income from any source including a salary, wage, disability, retirement, pension, insurance, or annuity benefit, or similar payments.
(7) 'Assets' shall not include:
(a) the homestead of the inmate up to fifty thousand dollars in value; or
(b) monies saved by the inmate from wages and bonuses up to two thousand five hundred dollars paid the inmate while he is confined in a detention facility.
(8) 'Cost of care' means the cost to the department for providing transportation, room, board, clothing, security, medical, and other living expenses of inmates under the jurisdiction of the department, as determined by the director.
(9) 'Department' means the Department of Corrections.
(B) The department shall develop a form which must be used by the department to obtain information from an inmate regarding his assets.
(C) The form must be submitted to each inmate sentenced to imprisonment under the jurisdiction of the department. The form may be resubmitted to an inmate by the department for purposes of obtaining current information regarding assets of the inmate.
(D) An inmate shall complete the form and shall swear or affirm under oath that to the best of his knowledge the information provided is complete and accurate. An inmate who knowingly provides false information on the form to the department is guilty of the crime of false swearing as contained in Section 16-9-30.
(E) Failure by an inmate to fully, adequately, and correctly complete the form may be considered by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services for purposes of a parole, and in determining an inmate's parole eligibility, and constitutes sufficient grounds for denial of parole.
(F) Before the release of an inmate from imprisonment, and before his release from the jurisdiction of the department, the department shall request from the inmate an assignment of ten percent of his wages, salary, benefits, or payments from any source. The assignment is valid for the greater period of five years from the date of its execution, or five years from the date that the inmate is released from the jurisdiction of the department. The assignment shall secure payment of the total cost of care of the inmate executing the assignment.
(G) The director shall forward to the Attorney General a report on an inmate containing a completed form with all other information available on the assets of the inmate and an estimate of the total cost of care for the inmate.
(H) The Attorney General may investigate all reports furnished pursuant to the provisions of subsection (G). The investigation may include obtaining information from any source that may have relevant information concerning an inmate's assets. The director shall provide all information possessed by the department and its divisions and agencies, upon request of the Attorney General, in order to assist the Attorney General in completing his duties pursuant to this section.
(I) If the Attorney General, upon completing the investigation under subsection (H), has good cause to believe that an inmate or former inmate has sufficient assets to recover the lesser of not less than ten percent of the estimated cost of care of the inmate or ten percent of the estimated cost of care of the inmate for two years, or has a stream of income sufficient to pay these amounts within a five-year period, the Attorney General may seek to secure reimbursement for the expense of the State for the cost of care of the inmate or former inmate.
(J) The Attorney General, or his designee, shall not bring an action pursuant to this section against an inmate or former inmate after the expiration of five years after his release from the jurisdiction of the department.
(K) Not more than ninety percent of the value of the assets of an inmate may be used for purposes of securing costs and reimbursement pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(L) The amount of reimbursement sought from an inmate must not be in excess of the per capita cost for care for maintaining inmates in the detention facility in which the inmate is housed for the period the inmate is housed in a detention facility.
(M) The court of common pleas has exclusive jurisdiction over all proceedings seeking reimbursement from inmates pursuant to the provisions of this section. The Attorney General may file a complaint in the court of common pleas in the county from which an inmate was sentenced or in Richland County against any inmate under the jurisdiction of the department stating that:
(1) the inmate is or has been an inmate in a detention facility;
(2) that is good cause to believe that the inmate has assets; and
(3) the assets be used to reimburse the State for the expenses incurred or to be incurred, or both, by the State for the cost of care of the inmate.
(N) Upon the filing of a complaint under subsection (M), the court shall issue an order to show cause why the prayer of the complainant should not be granted. The complaint and order must be served upon the inmate personally, or, if the inmate is confined in a detention facility, by registered mail addressed to the inmate in care of the chief administrator of the detention facility where the inmate is housed, at least thirty days before the date of hearing on the complaint and order.
(O) At the time of the hearing on the complaint and order, if it appears that the inmate has any assets which ought to be subjected to the claim of the State pursuant to the provisions of this section, the court shall issue an order requiring a person, corporation, or other legal entity possessing or having custody of the assets, to apply the assets or a portion of them to satisfy the claim.
(P) At the hearing on the complaint and order and before entering an order on behalf of the State against the defendant, the court shall take into consideration any legal obligation of the defendant to support a spouse, minor children, or other dependents and any moral obligation to support dependents to whom the defendant is providing or has provided support.
(Q) If the person, corporation, or other legal entity neglects or refuses to comply with an order issued pursuant to subsection (O), the court shall order the person, corporation, or other legal entity to appear before the court to show cause why the person, corporation, or other legal entity should not be considered in contempt of court.
(R) If the court finds the assets of the inmate are sufficient to pay the cost of the proceedings under the provisions of this section, the inmate is liable for those costs upon order of the court.
(S) Except as provided in subsection (O), the Attorney General may use any remedy, interim order, or enforcement procedure under the law including an ex parte restraining order to restrain the inmate or another person or legal entity in possession or having custody of the estate of the inmate from disposing of property in avoidance of an order issued pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(T) The court, upon request, may appoint a receiver to protect and maintain assets pending resolution of proceedings initiated pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(U) The Attorney General, or his designee, shall not enforce a judgment obtained pursuant to the provisions of this section by means of execution against the homestead of the inmate.
(V) The state's right to recover the cost of incarceration pursuant to an order issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have priority over all other liens, debts, or other encumbrances against real property or any other assets which are part of an inmate's estate, except for those items contained in Section 24-3-40.
(W) The sentencing judge, the sheriff, the county or city, the chief administrator of the detention facility, and the State Treasurer shall furnish to the Attorney General, or his designee, all information and assistance possible to enable the Attorney General, or his designee, to secure reimbursement for the State pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(X) Notwithstanding the provisions of another law protecting the confidentiality of information possessed by the State, the Secretary of State, the Director of the Department of Revenue, the Director of the Department of Social Services, the Director of the Department of Corrections, the Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and the Director of the Department of Public Safety shall provide the Attorney General or prosecuting attorney with all information requested pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(Y) A county or municipal official having custody of records of the estate or real property of an inmate or former inmate shall surrender the records or certified copies of them without fee to the Attorney General, or his designee, upon request pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(Z) The cost of an investigation under this section must be paid from the reimbursements secured under this section. The investigative costs are presumed to be twenty percent of the reimbursement recovered, unless the Attorney General demonstrates to the court otherwise. All reimbursements collected must be paid the 'Inmate Incarceration Reimbursement Act Revolving Fund', which is hereby established in the State Treasurer's Office. Monies in this fund must be appropriated to the Attorney General in order to defray the costs of the Attorney General, or his designee in connection with his duties under this section. All remaining balances in the fund must be appropriated to the department for purposes of construction and operation of state correctional facilities. Monies in the fund shall not lapse, be transferred, or appropriated to or placed to the credit of the general revenue fund or any other fund of the State."
(AA) The Director of the Department of Corrections shall perform a study of potential cost savings and efficacy of implementing a policy of feeding "meals ready to eat" (MRE's) to inmates in the correctional institutions and shall forward such report to the House and Senate by January 1, 1998.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.