More than 90 percent of all inmates in South Carolina eventually will return to the world outside the prison walls. It's certainly in the state's best interest to make sure those individuals have the skills to get and keep a job.
South Carolina is frugal to a fault in spending on prisons and, in the past when state money was particularly tight, prison education programs have fallen under the ax. Such an approach is penny-wise and pound foolish, contributing to a high recidivism rate and, in the long run, costing taxpayers more to house repeat offenders. ...
It's true that not everyone believes it's wise to use scarce taxpayer dollars to fund education programs in prison. Critics question whether education programs actually help rehabilitate inmates, and they argue that education money might be better spent on building prisons or hiring more prison staff.
But establishing strong educational programs in prisons is not only a compassionate way to deal with inmates, it also makes financial sense. ...
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South Carolina should never revert to the old model of merely warehousing inmates. Over the long term, prisons without skills training and education programs are likely to cost far more than those that place a priority on such initiatives.
College gets gift
Giving the College of Charleston $60 million is an inspiring act. Also inspiring: Shunning the earned spotlight that comes from such record-breaking generosity.
Guy E. Beatty Jr. now holds the distinction of having made the largest single donation to a public college in South Carolina. The school will receive $2 million a year for 30 years from Mr. Beatty's estate.
When College of Charleston President George Benson announced the gift, Mr. Beatty was not present. Indeed, he intentionally stayed out of the limelight ...
He quietly gave $60 million to Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and $40 million to the Virginia College Fund, which raises money for five colleges and universities in Virginia. He has given generously to hospitals and libraries. ...
George Benson said the man whose gift will allow the college to dream big -- "to strengthen the school's academic excellence, the student-centered culture and the contributions it makes to the community, the state and beyond" -- is a private person. ...
The timing of this gift is fortuitous as it gives the college a boost during a time when institutional support by the state has waned. The community as a whole owes Mr. and Mrs. Beatty thanks for investing so generously in its future.
How serious is domestic violence in South Carolina?
State Attorney General Henry McMaster has named it the No. 1 crime problem in South Carolina.
That might strike you as political hyperbole, but when you look at the number of lives touched by domestic violence, it hits very close to the mark. According to statistics from the attorney general's office, in 2005 nearly 36,000 people were victims of domestic violence in South Carolina. More than 15,000 arrests were made. Thirty-two people died. That same number died in 2007.
A Joint Criminal Domestic Violence Study Committee, created this past legislative session, is examining how the state protects victims of criminal domestic violence and how perpetrators are prosecuted. ...
There's always the danger that lawmakers will undo a good thing when it is revisited. But there is simply no good reason to prevent other solicitors from trying a different approach to the state's No. 1 crime problem.