It's not about changing the past, it's about creating a better future. -Mr. Fielder
WHY WE HAVE TO KEEP FIGHTING
South Carolina Prisons must be Humane and Safe Columbia, SC -- South Carolina’s prisons must be humane facilities that offer dignity and ensure public safety. Currently, the state’s prison system exacerbates harm by isolating people, perpetuating punitive living conditions, and providing little to no rehabilitation. Inhumane prisons do not serve the needs of crime survivors, communities, or those who are imprisoned. This does not make South Carolina safer. We need to take a close look at what contributes to violence in our prisons and how our prisons can heal following recent tragic events. We know that prison violence links persons together through a network of victims and offenders. Remarkable solutions to end prison violence are found in ensuring humane living conditions, supporting rehabilitative programming that includes education and anti-violence initiatives, and programming incentives for incarcerated persons. Hearts for Inmates recommends several solutions to make the South Carolina Department of Corrections system safer: • Restore hope to incarcerated persons.
Lawmakers must incentivize good behavior by allowing early release initiatives like HB 3322. The measure adjusts the states truth-in-sentencing structure and aligns South Carolina to states like Mississippi and Louisiana. • Visit maximum security prisons. Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees must visit each level three prison to speak with incarcerated residents and observe the conditions of these state facilities. • Expand in prison education. Officials must fully fund effective prison education and rehabilitation programs to improve safety within the prisons and in the communities where prisoners will return. In safe prisons and communities, there is mutual respect, trust, and an understanding of and a looking out for each other. Safety is not just about incarceration rates. Every day, we must work towards a vision of safety that is holistic and practical. This means taking a look at what our real goals are and should be around violence and violence prevention, implementing solutions that achieve rehabilitation, and relying on the knowledge and experience of overlapping survivor and offender networks to guide our policies.
Hearts for Inmates provides support for both short and long term individuals who are incarcerated by advocating for changes within South Carolina legislation and policy changes within South Carolina Department of Corrections and the Department of Pardon Probation and Parole. We invite South Carolina officials to work with us to make all of our communities safer. For more information, contact Erica Fielder with Hearts for Inmates, at