Assessing the Impact of South Carolina’s Parole and Probation Reforms

Brief

Assessing the Impact of South Carolina’s Parole and Probation Reforms

Justice Reinvestment Initiative

Abstract

In 2010, South Carolina passed the Sentencing Reform Act, enacting comprehensive criminal justice reforms. One key reform encouraged the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services to employ administration responses to parole and probation violations, rather than sending people to prison. This brief finds that, following these reforms, use of administrative responses increased. Reform implementation was associated with a decline in recidivism; people beginning supervision after the reforms were 33 percent less likely to be incarcerated after one year compared with pre-reform cohorts. Still, implementation of these reforms was impeded by several challenges, including delays, data limitations, and funding roadblocks.

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