South Carolina closed seven prisons between 2003 and 2016 as its inmate population dropped, but the number of inmates aged 55 years of age or older grew from just 833 to 2,294 during the same period. The swelling senior citizen prison population has raised concerns in Columbia, and lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have proposed changes that would allow inmates who are 60 years old or older to petition for parole after serving at least half of their sentences. Supporters of the bill say that older inmates have extremely low recidivism rates and are very expensive to incarcerate.
On March 26, authorities in Sumter County attempted to pull over a Nissan registered to a man who had an outstanding warrant. However, as authorities tried to stop the 32-year-old's vehicle, the vehicle made its way to Woodlawn Avenue where it was involved in an accident. The man then reportedly fled his vehicle and hid in the attic of a home that he lived in.
On March 26, a South Carolina man was sentenced to prison on a gun charge after taking part in a live video stream that showed him packing marijuana for a drug deal. The 19-year-old is a resident of Walterboro.
A drug investigation in three South Carolina counties resulted in more than 100 charges against 24 people. The investigation began in 2016 and is still ongoing. Law enforcement reports that wiretapping was a significant tool in the investigation. A press release from the state attorney general's office refers to the operation as "Gimme the Loot."
On Jan. 11, two South Carolina residents were arrested following a drug raid in Berkeley County. The incident took place at the Simmons Park apartment complex on Daniel Island.
According to news reports, a South Carolina man who has several past felony convictions was recently sentenced to serve 45 months in prison for a dog cruelty conviction. The man reportedly cried in court while he asked the judge to be lenient, and he is now facing more charges.
South Carolina and federal authorities arrested 14 people on Nov. 15 on suspicion of committing various drug crimes. The arrests, which took place in Beaufort County and nearby areas, are the culmination of a multi-agency criminal investigation that took place over several years.
Fans of Rose McGowan in South Carolina may be interested to hear details pertaining to her arrest in Virginia. McGowan was detained on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. After handing herself over to law enforcement officials in Virginia, McGowan was subsequently released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
Opinion polls reveal that most people in South Carolina and around the country feel that the war on drugs has been largely ineffective and believe that the issue should be treated as a public health rather than a criminal problem. However, figures from the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that arrests for drug violations continue to increase despite public opinion and laws being passed in several states that either legalize or decriminalize marijuana.
South Carolina residents may know that a controlled substance is a drug designated as illegal by the federal government. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 breaks drugs down into five categories or schedules. These range from the most dangerous, listed under Schedule I, to the least dangerous. Some prescription drugs are considered controlled substances, but if a person has been prescribed and purchased the drug lawfully, having it is not considered a violation.