SC officials discuss merging prisons, parole dept.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Lawmakers are considering merging the agencies that operate South Carolina's prisons and the probation and parole functions.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported there are estimates the state could save $6 million by combining the Department of Corrections and the Probation, Parole and Pardon Services Department.

A legislative committee plans to make recommendations to the General Assembly in January.

Corrections Department director Jon Ozmint said Wednesday most other states have combined the functions. He says the biggest savings would come from combining administration functions, such as technical support and human services.

Probation agency spokesman Peter O'Boyle says the agency supports studying the idea, but is uncertain how much money could be saved.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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