Here in SC there is a debate going on amongst legislators and professors of criminology. There is a debate headed for the legislature and it's very interesting. One side, Henry McCaster states that he feels that ALL criminals in SC should absolutely serve 85% of their sentence before they are eligible for any sort of parole or services. The other side has a University of SC criminology professor stating that if you put a fraction of the monies into rehabilation and middle court (or non-violent offender programs) the recidivism is markedly less. Yet law makers want to enact this proposal and pass it into law. If the former wins - this will probably increase our current inmate population by roughly 6,000 in a year and double that in 2 years. In order to accomplish their goal and send a message to all offenders that there IS no debate, there IS no second chance and basically abolish the parole system? They would have to build 5 jails in the next 3 years. This group feels that if you send a message that ABSOLUTELY without a DOUBT you offend? YOU ARE GOING TO JAIL FOR at least 85% of your term. NO more pleas. While it's true SC builds the cheapest jails in the country is this plausable? If the latter opinion remains at large these programs that have been the first to GO due to the recession now would get more money pumped into them so that repeat offenders are retrained, rehoused and more programs would be out there to help these folks. I heard this today and really it has sparked a statewide debate. I signed a petition to allow felony offenders a clean slate with x amt. of years with no repeats so that they could get jobs. It's one of the top 5 reasons our homeless population is out of control. People get out of jail, and they either aren't offered any viable solutions to help them become better citizens or they are left to a crumbling and overburdened system that is antiquated and not adept in dealing with todays problems. Keep in mind crack has been around a while but wasn't an epidemic in the 60's and 70's, but ffwd to the 80's and now you have people who were jailed for 20 years getting out and they have NO idea what's about to happen to them in a modern world. If this is not an appropriate topic for here - then mods feel free to delete but I'm just curious about others logic on this. To me - on one hand there never should have BEEN the namby pamby court allowance of pleas. You do the crime you do the time and had that STAYED in place? I think the population of prisons would be less than it is today. Since it WASN'T and then lawmakers really (in my humble opinion) made quite the mess out of our court, jails and prison systems - is it too late to go back to this and if it does? Are you scared for your difficult child's? Just wondering.