GREENVILLE (AP) — A state lawmaker is calling for reform to the code on gang violence and repeat offenders after a University of South Carolina student was shot.
The Greenville News reported that state Rep. Phyllis Henderson of House District 21 said on Tuesday she would push for changes to the state’s gang laws and bonding laws upon her return to Columbia in January.
Among the changes considered is one that would update language in the South Carolina Criminal Gang Prevention Act regarding gang member recruitment. Currently, laws state that gang members cannot coerce someone into joining a gang through physical violence.
Officials also want to create enhancements for gang-related crimes and setting minimum bond levels for gang-related crimes. Henderson cited the state of Kansas, where bail for gang-related crime is set at a $50,000 minimum.
Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis also recommended a number of other initiatives, including court-ordered determent programs, gang member registration and criminal and gang profiling.
“It’s about time that we as communities realize that individuals wearing gang colors are too often the source of our street violence,” he said.
USC student Martha Childress was shot and wounded as she waited for a taxi to take her back to her dorm on Oct. 13.