Live 5 Investigates: 'Community Safety Warrants' designed to keep dangerous offenders in jail

Live 5 Investigates: 'Community Safety Warrants' designed to keep dangerous offenders in jail

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A little-known tool used by South Carolina Probation and Parole officials is designed to keep some of their most violent offenders in jail.

It is called a Community Safety warrant and is used to prove an offender is a danger to the community.

Probation and Parole officials recently used a Community Safety warrant to put a man on probation back in jail.

On April 18, 22-year-old William Graham was arrested for a brutal assault on a woman at an apartment complex on O'Hear Avenue in North Charleston.

Graham, who is on probation for a kidnapping conviction, was released from jail after posting a $75,000 bond.

Even though Graham was on probation when he was arrested on the new assault charge, probation and parole agents couldn't automatically have him put back in jail.

“The Constitution says there's a presumption of innocence,” probation and parole spokesman Pete O'Boyle explained.

That's when probation agents issued the warrant which would put Graham back behind bars for a probation violation. A judge has to make a decision whether to revoke Graham's probation, which could result in his going back in prison.

“He had numerous convictions in the past and he is somebody who's had trouble staying out of trouble,” O'Boyle said.

A judge signed the warrant and on April 21, Graham was given a new $75,000 bond.

He was ordered to report to his probation officer within 24 hours if he bonds out.

O'Boyle says his agency tries to work with most of their offenders to help them get their lives back on track, but says Graham is an exception.

“The possible threat to the victim in this case as well as society at large,” he explained. “We just want the public to know that we look at every case and public safety is our number one goal. It's a tough decision our agents have to make in some cases, but it appears this is the right one.”

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