Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The State Fiscal Accountability Authority approved funding for sexual predator housing and cell phone tracker technology in prisons Tuesday morning.
Lawmakers approved $45 million to house the sexually violent predator treatment program.
Governor Nikki Haley says this is necessary because sexual predators can't be rehabilitated and should not be with the general prison population.
“The goal is to separate out that population so they don’t harm the rest of the population, and to treat them in the way that they can be treated in the best care, as opposed to treating them with all the other inmates,” the governor explained.
The new facility will be at the site of the existing Stevenson Correctional Institution on Broad River Road.
The South Carolina prison system is one step closer to catching inmates who have illegal cell phones.
The State Fiscal Accountability Authority approved more than $20,000 to develop a plan to put the cell tracking technology in place.
Governor Nikki Haley says the Federal Communications Commission would not allow them to block cell usage within prisons so they have had to take these measures to ensure safety.
“They continue to use it to do more crime acts on the outside as well as on the inside. They continue to threaten any of the inmates that threaten to take those cell phones away and so it’s a real big problem,” Haley said.
Haley said they will test out the technology and see how it works and will look into possibly strengthening the penalty for carrying a cell phone in a prison.
Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said the installation will cost more than $1 million and should be installed by January.
Stirling also tells News 19 that he plans to ask lawmakers for $8 million to increase officer salaries.
He says he is also considering requesting more funding for more rehabilitation opportunities for inmates.
(© 2016 WLTX)