Parole is a touchy and complicated topic, especially when your area has a problem with repeat violent offenders. And a number of area crimes have put the spotlight on parole problems.
The Post and Courier dives into the topic with a pretty big emotional jolt:
On the morning of Sept. 26, firefighters rushed to Blakeley's Litchfield Beach home after neighbors saw smoke coming from the house. They found the 63-year-old woman dead, partially clothed in her bed. She had been stabbed in the neck and raped. Fires were set in several places.
A week later, police arrested Shane Earl Lawshe, a 33-year-old convicted felon with a record of assault and burglary. Just two months earlier, state officials released him on parole. It was the third time in five years he had been freed on probation or parole in connection with a series of crimes, a string prosecutors characterize as an upward spiral of danger.
The paper continues to dig into the problems of parole, how things are in South Carolina and how they compare to the nation. They also note a general trend to be tougher on criminals and the parole system, but point out how hard it can be to get things done, especially in tight financial times.
They've also have a map of where 3,900 freed individuals on probation live. The state notes that 65% of individuals on probation do not have repeat criminal activity, inside or outside of parol.
Obviously, it's a nuanced issue. The Post and Courier does a good job of noting what the system is and how others are trying to fix the problems, mixing in some local horror stories.
Though, I noticed there was very little talk about state efforts to deal with the causes of the crime.
And, if you're left unnerved by this reading, take some comfort in North Charleston's move to hire 24 more officers.
Go read the story.