Horry County looks to pass law to allow home detention for non-violent crimes

Horry County looks to pass law to allow home detention for non-violent crimes

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council voted to keep an ordinance alive at a council meeting on Tuesday that could save a few dollars for the tax payer.

That ordinance would allow some potential criminals to serve their time at home instead of being locked up at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

The home detention program has actually been around for almost 20 years but has never been formally made into law. The council voted unanimously to push the ordinance through and members say there are many reasons why some law breakers would be better off at home.

"With the ever-changing advancement of new technology, it has afforded us more opportunities, which will afford the courts a broader choice to be able to sentence folks and stuff at home which will help to relieve our court pressures and our jail," said Councilman Al Allen. "If you house a prisoner, you have to provide for that prisoner 24/7, including health care."

Just like in the past, only a bond judge can allow for home detention, and only under certain circumstances.

"When we put them out, it's going to be non-violent offenders, first-time offenders, things of that nature. We'll have a whole slew of charges that we'll be able to choose from: shoplifting, people with medical problems," said Horry County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Robert Butler.

Horry County currently has 70 people under home detention, and officials says once this ordinance is passed, those numbers could go up.

"I'm sure that when a judge can that they will probably seriously consider home detention over 24/7 incarceration because it will work better," Allen said.

"It helps the county. It saves money. And it puts them on a GPS monitor where they're still monitored and they still have to show up for court, and that's what his bond's for anyway," Butler said.

The ordinance will face it's third and final reading at the next Horry County meeting, where it's expected to pass without any issue.

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