SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee

Among states’ most pressing concerns are ensuring the public’s general welfare and protection, with both areas constituting increasing shares of state budgets. States have been taking the lead in health policy, welfare reform and child care, and have maintained their predominant role in the areas of public safety, corrections and sentencing. The Human Services & Public Safety Committee has a broad agenda which most typically addresses the challenges states face in the areas of human services and corrections, and policies and programs utilized to meet them. The Committee has undertaken assessments of Medicaid and reform; nursing shortages; long-term healthcare; and such corrections issues as criminal justice DNA statutes; the aging inmate population; female offenders; mental health parity in prisons, and prison staffing patterns in Southern states.

2017-18
Acting Chair

Senator
Katrina Shealy

South Carolina

2017-18
Vice Chair

Vacant

Immediate
Past Chair

(Former) Senator
Doug Overbey

Tennessee

Committee
Liaison

Roger Moore

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst

Recent Research


Comparative Data Report | July 19, 2017

Adult Correctional Systems

Monique Appeaning, Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Policy Analysis | June 22, 2017

Bail and Pretrial Reforms in Southern States

Mitchell Gray

Lawmakers in several SLC member states have enacted legislation aimed at reducing correctional populations and curtailing costs by addressing bail and pretrial options. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, 62 percent of people in jail are not serving sentences but, rather, waiting for their cases to be heard. While there are limited examples of extensive bail reform in SLC states, other pretrial options, such as court notification systems, supervision services, and other community-based programs, have been implemented. State lawmakers also have sought to increase felony theft thresholds: the monetary value that prosecutors use to categorize stolen money or property as a felony. Multiple SLC states have enacted legislation detailing methods for collecting fines and fees from indigent defendants, for example, through individualized payment plans, reduced and/or deferred fines, or community service in lieu of owed payments. The information below reflects the trends in policies relating to bail reform and pretrial processes in SLC states.

Jail population by conviction status

Source: Prison Policy Initiative (accessed June 22, 2017)

Median annual pre-incarceration incomes for people in local jails unable to post a bail bond, ages 23-39, in $USD (2015), by race/ethnicity and gender.

Note: The median bail bond amount nationally is almost a full year’s income for the average person unable to post a bail bond.
Source: Prison Policy Initiative (accessed June 22, 2017)

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Comparative Data Report | August 19, 2016

Adult Correctional Systems

Download this report (PDF)

More SLC Research into Corrections


Comparative Data Report | August 30, 2015

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | July 22, 2014

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 19, 2013

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2011

Corrections

Policy Analysis | April 25, 2011

State Corrections Reforms

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2010

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2009

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2008

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2007

Adult Correctional Systems

SLC Regional Resource | December 1, 2006

The Aging Inmate Population: Southern States Outlook

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Corrections

SLC Regional Resource | May 1, 2001

Correctional Good-Time Credits in Southern States

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2000

Corrections

SLC Special Series Report | August 1, 2000

Female Offenders: Special Needs and Southern State Challenges

SLC Regional Resource | February 1, 2000

The Proposed Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision

SLC Special Series Report | June 1, 1998

The Aging Inmate Population