South Carolina prisons to reclassify inmates on behavior, not crimes

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The director of South Carolina’s prisons says his agency will begin classifying inmates by their behavior behind bars, not the crime they committed.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling says the reclassification could reduce the number of maximum-security inmates by 4,000. There are currently about 7,000 inmates in maximum security in South Carolina prisons.

Stirling told The Post and Courier of Charleston moving inmates from maximum security will let them move in prison more freely, take more classes and go on work release programs. They also can become eligible for parole quicker.

To get out of maximum security, prison officials say inmates must not be in gangs and must follow the rules.

Stirling says consolidating maximum security will allow his chronically short staff to concentrate on the worst behaved inmates.

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