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TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO CORRECTIONS, JAILS, PROBATIONS, PAROLES, AND PARDONS, TO REESTABLISH THE SENTENCING REFORM OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, AND TO PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP, POWERS, DUTIES, AND AUTHORITY.
Whereas, the Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee was established by Act 273 of 2010, the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act of 2010; and
Whereas, Section 24-28-20(C) provided that the oversight committee would terminate automatically five years after its first meeting if not reauthorized by joint resolution prior to that date; and
Whereas, the General Assembly failed to adopt a joint resolution reauthorizing the oversight committee prior to its automatic termination; and
Whereas, the General Assembly recognizes the positive contribution that the oversight committee made toward criminal justice reform in this State and acknowledges that the oversight committee is vital to continuing that progress; and
Whereas, by and through this act, the General Assembly is reestablishing the oversight committee in the same form and with the same powers, duties, and authority as previously held.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 24 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 24-28-10. There is hereby established a committee to be known as the Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee, hereinafter called the oversight committee, which must exercise the powers and fulfill the duties described in this chapter.
Section 24-28-20. (A) The oversight committee shall be composed of seven members, two of whom shall be members of the Senate, both appointed by the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and one being the Chair of the Judiciary Committee or his designee; two of whom shall be members of the House of Representatives, both appointed by the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and one being the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee or his designee; one of whom shall be appointed by the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from the general public at large; one of whom shall be appointed by the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee from the general public at large; and one of whom shall be appointed by the Governor. Provided, however, that in making appointments to the oversight committee, race, gender, and other demographic factors should be considered to assure nondiscrimination, inclusion, and representation to the greatest extent of all segments of the population of the State. The members of the general public appointed by the chairs of the Judiciary Committees must be representative of all citizens of this State and must not be members of the General Assembly.
(B) The oversight committee must meet as soon as practicable after appointment and organize itself by electing one of its members as chair and such other officers as the oversight committee may consider necessary. Thereafter, the oversight committee must meet at least annually and at the call of the chair or by a majority of the members. A quorum consists of four members.
(C) The oversight committee terminates five years after its first meeting, unless the General Assembly, by joint resolution, continues the oversight committee for a specified period of time.
Section 24-28-30. The oversight committee has the following powers and duties:
(1) to review the implementation of the recommendations made in the Sentencing Reform Commission report of February 2010 including, but not limited to:
(a) the plan required from the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services on the parole board training and other goals identified in Section 24-21-10;
(b) the report from the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services on its goals and development of assessment tools consistent with evidence-based practices;
(c) the report from the Office of Pretrial Intervention Coordinator in the Commission on Prosecution Coordination on diversion programs required by the provisions of Article 11, Chapter 22, Title 17; and
(d) the report from the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services on:
(i) the number and percentage of individuals placed on administrative sanctions and the number and percentage of individuals who have earned compliance credits; and
(ii) the number and percentage of probationers and parolees whose supervision has been revoked for violations of conditions or for convictions of new offenses;
(2) to request data similar to the information contained in the report required by Section 17-22-1120 from private organizations whose programs are operated through a court and that divert individuals from prosecution, incarceration, or confinement, such as diversion from incarceration for failure to pay child support, and whose programs are sanctioned by, coordinated with, or funded by federal, state, or local governmental agencies;
(3)(a) to annually calculate:
(i) any state expenditures that have been avoided by reductions in the revocation rate as calculated by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and reported under Sections 24-21-450 and 24-21-680;
(ii) any state expenditures that have been avoided by reductions in the new felony offense conviction rate as calculated by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and reported under Sections 24-21-450 and 24-21-680.
(b) to develop rules and regulations for calculating the savings in item (3)(a), which shall account at a minimum for the variable costs averted, such as food and medical expenses, and also consider fixed expenditures that are avoided if larger numbers of potential inmates are avoided.
(c) on or before December first of each year, beginning in 2017, to report the calculations made pursuant to item (3)(a) to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, and the Governor. The report also shall recommend whether to appropriate up to thirty-five percent of any state expenditures that are avoided as calculated in item (3)(a) to the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
(d) with respect to the recommended appropriations in item (c), none of the calculated savings shall be recommended for appropriation for that fiscal year if there is an increase in the percentage of individuals supervised by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services who are convicted of a new felony offense as calculated in subitem (3)(a)(ii).
(e) any funds appropriated pursuant to the recommendations in item (c) shall be used to supplement, not replace, any other state appropriations to the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
(f) funds received through appropriations pursuant to this item shall be used by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services for the following purposes:
(i) implementation of evidence-based practices;
(ii) increasing the availability of risk reduction programs and interventions, including substance abuse treatment programs, for supervised individuals; or
(iii) grants to nonprofit victim services organizations to partner with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and courts to assist victims and increase the amount of restitution collected from offenders;
(4) to submit to the General Assembly, on an annual basis, the oversight committee's evaluation of the implementation of the recommendations of the Sentencing Reform Commission report of February 2010;
(5) to make reports and recommendations to the General Assembly on matters relating to the powers and duties set forth in this section, including recommendations on transfers of funding based on the success or failure of implementation of the recommendations; and
(6) to undertake such additional studies or evaluations as the oversight committee considers necessary to provide sentencing reform information and analysis.
Section 24-28-40. (A) The oversight committee members are entitled to such mileage, subsistence, and per diem as authorized by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions while in the performance of the duties for which appointed. These expenses shall be paid from the general fund of the State on warrants duly signed by the chair of the oversight committee and payable by the authorities from which a member is appointed.
(B) The oversight committee is encouraged to apply for and may expend grants, gifts, or federal funds it receives from other sources to carry out its duties and responsibilities.
Section 24-28-50. (A) The oversight committee must use clerical and professional employees of the General Assembly for its staff, who must be made available to the oversight committee.
(B) The oversight committee may employ or retain other professional staff, upon the determination of the necessity for other staff by the oversight committee.
(C) The oversight committee may employ consultants to assist in the evaluations and, when necessary, the implementation of the recommendations of the Sentencing Reform Commission report of February 2010."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on December 13, 2016 at 3:21 PM