Criminal Justice

The South Carolina Republican Party believes that economic distress is not the primary cause of crime. Rather, a lack of moral values, self-control and restraint, coupled with the breakdown of the family are the chief causes. “Let the punishment fit the crime” should be the prevailing rule. Criminals should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Consequently, the Party wholeheartedly supports truth in sentencing. Parole for violent felons should be abolished for the sake of public safety. Restitution to crime victims is an essential and separate element from incarceration in reducing crime and bringing about justice.

We support efforts to abolish parole for career criminals in South Carolina and reform the judicial system to reduce recidivism rates in South Carolina that may result in a more efficient system at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

The Party recognizes that the victims of all crimes have rights and supports a state constitutional amendment establishing a Victim’s Bill of Rights so that the rights of victims are guarded just as seriously as those of the criminal.

The Party laments the rapid rise in juvenile crime; we acknowledge that both parents share full responsibility for their minor children and should therefore share the responsibility of their delinquency. The Party supports prosecution of juvenile drug dealers as adults and making juvenile crime records available to the Department of Corrections. The Party is opposed to unsupervised furloughs for any incarcerated juveniles.

The Party recognizes the vital public safety functions performed by Law Enforcement personnel and pledges its total support of law enforcement agencies: city, county, state, and federal. It deplores coddling of criminals and applauds swift, sure justice at all times. The Party supports the death penalty as a deterrent to crime and deplores the fact that its effectiveness as a deterrent is diluted by an appeals process that can last many years.

Prison should be a place to which an inmate never wants to return. The Party supports the self- sufficiency of our penal system by requiring all inmates (both juvenile and adult) to work a portion of their waking day. Additionally, inmates should be judged on behavior and performance in every aspect of prison life.