A House panel moved forward with legislation Thursday that would combine two South Carolina agencies which run the state’s criminal justice system.
Right now the Department of Corrections oversees the state’s prisons, while the separate Department of Pardon, Probation, and Parole Services (PPP) covers the inmates once they are released on parole or probation. The new state prisons director said that model is inefficient and often results in former inmates going right back into prisons.
Corrections Director Bill Byars told a House subcommittee Thursday that the state could save $58 million by combining the administrations of the two agencies.
Byars said merging PPP into a division of the Corrections Department would help take better care of the inmates once they’re released. He said he hopes the merger will both save money and result in fewer inmates going right back into prison soon after their release.
The panel agreed with Byars’s assesment, advancing the bill to the full committee next week. It will likely reach the House floor the first week of March.