SC Attorney General makes case for bond reform in letter to General Assembly
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s attorney general is urging state lawmakers to pass bond reform and allow the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to certify GPS monitoring agencies.
Attorney General Alan Wilson and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel penned a letter calling on lawmakers to pass bill H.3532.
“We desperately need bond reform passed as soon as possible. Our current system allows for repeat offenders to continue a life of criminality and endanger our communities,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “By strengthening GPS monitoring for defendants out on bond and creating oversight and accountability into the process, South Carolina will be a safer place for everyone.”
In the letter, Wilson and Keel are in support of many of the provisions in the bill, including:
- SLED would certify all entities that provide electronic monitoring, including electronic monitoring companies, law enforcement agencies, and bonding companies that provide electronic monitoring;
- Electronic monitoring agencies would be required to provide law enforcement and prosecuting agencies with real-time monitoring and notice of violations;
- An up-to-date list of certified monitoring companies would be kept publicly available and both bonding companies and courts would be required to use only these companies;
- The companies would be required to provide a report of who they are monitoring to clerks of court as bonding companies do;
- Courts would be allowed to order a specific monitoring company when it is deemed prudent or necessary; and If necessary, allow defendants to pay the monitoring company or clerk and provide proof of payment to the bondsman.
The letter states the flaw with electronic monitoring in the state is the lack of standards in the monitoring.
Wilson and Keel argue the lack of standards “poses a safety risk for victims and the community.”
H.3532 would see people who commit a violent crime, certain weapons offenses, or certain crimes against children while out on bond for another violent offense automatically have that initial bond revoked passed the House of Representatives on March 1.
This isn’t the first time leaders have called on the General Assembly to address bond reform.
In April, Keel joined Gov. Henry McMaster in another push for bond reform and stiffer penalties for those in possession of illegal guns.
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