Bill introduced will take away bond options for repeat offenders - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bill introduced will take away bond options for repeat offenders

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Allen Koon, Dexter Lee Boulware, Ammar Harris, Gregory Johnson, Faasiu Toese, and just in the last week, Shiquan Cwiklinski, Percy Williams, and Adam Jurgen. 

It's a revolving list of repeat offenders, all charged again with violent crimes in the last five months. That's why state Sen. Robert Ford is calling for a change.

"Now it's about time we cracked down on that," said Ford.

Ford has introduced Senate Bill 19, that would take away bond options for a repeat offender.  He claims it will stop a vicious cycle. 

"Police have done a good job, making an arrest, going to court, making a case, guys come out after maybe one year or two on probation or whatever and wind up committing a more serious crime," said Ford.

Dozens of police chiefs have gotten behind the measure, and it's got support from sheriffs and mayors in the Midlands like Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

"We arrest the same person over and over," said Lott. "When is it gonna stop? When is that person gonna be held somewhere where he's not preying on the community?

"It's something that's desperately needed," said Benjamin. "A very small number of thugs are victimizing people across this state because of this loophole in our law. We strongly support it -- a change to the law."

We looked at the South Carolina Department of Corrections recidivism rate of inmates from 2004 through 2009. Over that period, within a year of their release on average 12 percent were back in jail within a year, but over five years the percentage that returned to jail shot up to 42 percent.

"You've got to crack down on it, give judges some more power, some more leeway to do what they need to do to keep these guys behind bars after the police do their job," said Ford.

Ford's bill would issue add a mandatory five years in jail to repeat offenders sentences without the ability for work release or parole.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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