A system once used as more of a reward for well-behaved offenders is increasingly being used for its cost-saving benefit, according to The Post and Courier.
Read more stories on this subject in our parole topic page.It costs some $14,000 to house a criminal in a state prison, but only about $1,000 to supervise them on parole. A tempting offer when your prisons are overflowing.
The paper continues to talk about the emotional tension of loved ones waiting on the hearings, and the painful disaster stories of those that broke their parole terms and were let go again only to horrible affect.
But it's not all doom and gloom, the paper points out:
Circuit Judge Hughston understands the risks. But he has also seen successes, such as an Upstate man who came before him several years ago for stealing a car and leading police on a chase after a cocaine and alcohol binge. Hughston decided to give him a chance on probation.
The man went on to become a model citizen who married, had kids and held down a steady job.