Police officer turned lawmaker uses fiery words in support of pr - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Police officer turned lawmaker uses fiery words in support of prison reform

Police officer turned lawmaker uses fiery words in support of prison reform. (Source: WIS) Police officer turned lawmaker uses fiery words in support of prison reform. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

State Representative Mike Pitts (R- Laurens) used fiery words on Tuesday to describe why he feels there should be prison reform in South Carolina.

“I know for myself, if I were in prison and I had no hope, I would be the biggest [expletive] in the prison system," Pitts said. "But if you gave me benchmarks to check and I reduced my sentence even if it’s a small amount, I’m going to do my best to do that. So, I do think with a great many people it would have an effect.”

He is one of a group of representatives behind House Bill 5155, for prison reform. The bill would change the way certain inmates serve long sentences. It would do several things, including offering more good behavior credits and early release mechanisms. Pitts, a former police officer, says this is necessary in order to give inmates a reason to behave. 

While Pitts feels it could prevent some violence behind bars, he doesn't feel it would have changed anything at Lee Correctional Institution in the riots that turned deadly; this bill's early release incentives would apply to nonviolent inmates.

The House of Representatives did not debate the bill on Tuesday. There's no chance of it passing this year since lawmakers are soon to break for the summer. Pitts says he will file it again next year

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