South Carolina is expanding a program that focuses on young offenders—ages 17-25—who are amenable to rehabilitation and may be turned away from a life of crime.
Under South Carolina’s Youthful Offender Act, first-time offenders in that age group receive indeterminate sentences in conjunction with more intensive supervision aimed at reducing recidivism rates. Currently, this subset of offenders re-offends at a rate of 50 percent, considerably higher than the average rate for other adult offenders, which is only 30 percent.
The intensive supervision incorporates skill-building and education that is designed to ensure that the offenders have a trade and can earn a living outside of prison. The intensive supervision is also intended to build a community-based support system to ensure more effective reentry.